Asia top stories: weekly summary

Source: ICIS News

2016/05/16

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 13 May 2016.

Japan’s Mitsui full-year profit grows 33% on strong petchems
Mitsui Chemicals reported a 33% year-on-year increase in year-to-March 2016 net profit to yen (Y) 23bn ($211m), aided by strong earnings from its petrochemicals business, the Japanese producer said on Friday.

Chemical tanker freight rates on steady course
As mid-2016 draws closer, the market’s attention now shifts towards the second half and the new year beyond.

SE Asia freight rates under downward pressure as vessels wait
Southeast (SE) Asia freight rates are expected to come under downward pressure as ship owners with vessels available for loading in second-half May are finding it difficult to find cargoes to move, industry sources said on Thursday.

Asia SM market bearish on tepid demand; China inventory falls
Styrene monomer (SM) prices in Asia may continue to fall on poor performance from downstream markets, as China's economic outlook remains weak, industry sources said on Thursday.

China BDO likely stable-to-firm in near term on strong PO
Spot import prices of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) into China may either remain stable or increase in the near term amid gains in the feedstock propylene oxide (PO) market, industry players said on Thursday.

China soda ash softens on rising supply, weak downstream market
Soda ash price discussions in Asia are softening, as supply improved in the key China market while demand from downstream sectors remained weak, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Indian phenol importers’ outlook weakens on supply gains
An anticipated gain in forward supply is sustaining a subdued outlook among participants in the Indian phenol market and weighing on domestic prices, market sources said on Wednesday.

Asia nylon chip market finds support from firm capro prices
Spot prices of nylon chips in Asia are expected to be stable in the coming weeks, supported by firm upstream
prices despite weak demand, market sources said on Wednesday.

Asia PC to see limited price swings; may track BPA market
Asia’s polycarbonate (PC) prices will likely be supported by regional demand, with movement likely to track the upstream bisphenol-A (BPA) market, industry sources said on Wednesday.

China MIBK producers shut plants on poor margins
China’s methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) facilities have mostly been taken off line, with only one left running, as producers attempt to stem losses caused by rising costs of feedstock acetone, market sources said on Wednesday.

India may raise PX exports upon Q4 start-up of Jamnagar plant
India may turn into a net exporter of paraxylene (PX) late this year, with the expected start-up of Reliance
Industries’ 2m tonne/year facility in Jamnagar in the fourth quarter, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Asia SBR under pressure from falling natural rubber prices
Spot styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices in Asia are under downward pressure as buyers retreat to the
sidelines amid a continued slump in values of rival product natural rubber (NR), market sources said on Tuesday.

Southeast Asia MMA to stay near six-month highs on tight supply
Spot methyl methacrylate prices (MMA) in southeast Asia are likely to stay near six-month highs on the back of limited spot cargo availability and firm downstream polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) market, industry sources said on Tuesday.

Rising supply may limit China acetone price upside
Rising supply may limit the further upside to acetone prices into China, importers said on Tuesday.

Philippine ethanol imports to grow in Q3 on lower local supply
The Philippines’ ethanol imports are set to rise in July to September following an announcement that local producers will supply 10.7m litres less ethanol to major domestic oil companies quarter on quarter, market sources said on Monday.

China’s toluene import demand to stay weak amid ample inventories
China’s toluene import demand is expected to stay weak amid ample shoretank inventories and poor gasoline blending demand, several market players said on Monday.