Asia top stories - weekly summary

Source: ICIS News


SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 9 March 2018.

Asia key petrochemical markets soft on weak China demand post-holiday Spot prices of major petrochemicals in Asia are being weighed down by weak post-holiday demand from the key China market.

Vietnam PP market jittery over growing availability of China cargoes A growing availability of Chinese-origin polypropylene (PP) cargoes in Vietnam this week is causing jitters among market players, as this indicates weakness in the key northeast Asian polymer market.

SE Asia maleic anhydride market buoyed by tight supply Indicative prices for maleic anhydride (MA) into southeast Asia were at a narrower range of $1,370-1,390/tonne in the week, held firm by tight supply, which is expected to remain in the near term.

Asia EVA seen steady despite looming Q2 demand lull Spot prices of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) with 14-20% vinyl acetate (VA) content in the key China and India markets are expected to be supported by reduced supply despite an expected weakening of demand from major downstream footwear materials sector in the second quarter.

China Group III base oils lack upward momentum on ample stocks Spot Group III base oils prices in China are expected to stay firm during March-April, but may not increase despite a concentration of plant turnarounds in Asia, as importers have stocked up adequate cargoes for the period.

China’s anti-pollution measures to push chemical prices higher China’s measures to combat pollution will intensify supply-side pressures on its petrochemical industry which could drive up commodity prices, analysts said.

Asia PS prices under downward pressure from weak SM Asia polystyrene (PS) prices are likely to remain under pressure for the rest of the first quarter as buyers remain on the sidelines expecting further declines, though market may turn to firmness in the second quarter.

China domestic ECH faces upward pressure from tight supply China’s domestic epichlorohydrin (ECH) prices are facing upward pressure from tight supply.

China MEG may continue to soften in the near term on weak fundamentals China domestic monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices are likely to soften in the near-term on continuing weak demand and ample supply including climbing inventories.

NE Asia C3 falls 3% over three weeks; near-term outlook bearish Spot propylene prices in northeast Asia have fallen by 3.1% over three consecutive weeks, weighed down by poor sentiment, and may remain under pressure in the near term amid weakness in China’s domestic market.

Middle East polyols prices likely supported amid tight supply Spot import prices of polyols in the Middle East saw a bump higher in the week ended 1 March, and are likely to remain supported in coming weeks amid a lack of available material for buyers in the region.

S Korea's exports to be supported by global economic recovery - analysts South Korea’s exports growth will continue to be supported by the global economic recovery this year despite the sharp slowdown seen in February, according to analysts.