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 16 March 2018.

Asia SM extends weekly losses as weak sentiment persists
Asia’s styrene monomer (SM) prices slid further in the week as sentiment remained bearish, but demand is expected to pick up in the near term due to scheduled turnarounds in the key China market.

China DEG likely to continue bearish trend on soaring inventory
Diethylene glycol (DEG) prices in the Chinese domestic market are likely to continue their bearish trend in March on ample supply and sluggish demand with some change expected early next month when oversupply eases due to planned turnarounds.

Asia SBR under pressure amid slowdown in tyre production
Asia’s spot styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices are under pressure amid a slowdown in downstream tyre production in view of carbon black’s shortage and price surge in China.

SE Asia PA hits one-year high, uptrend supported by tight supply
Southeast Asia phthalic anhydride (PA) prices have hit a one-year high at $1,150/tonne, and may continue to climb amid tight supply.

RBI ban on LOUs, LOCs hampers Indian polymer trade
A ban announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the issuance of letters of undertaking (LOUs) and letters of comfort (LOCs) on 13 March 2018 has led to a significant slowdown in the polymers market in India, and will make trade more expensive.

Tight supply amid slow demand clouds outlook for China melamine
Even as China melamine makers closed some export deals this week, outlook for sustained spot trade liquidity is murky on divergent buy-sell views on market supply/demand fundamentals.

China can shrug off US’ steel and aluminium tariffs, for now
China’s overall exports are unlikely to be dented by the US’ recent decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, but there are concerns about further protectionist measures that would be disruptive to global trade.

NE Asia ethylene prices extend gains in early week discussions
Spot ethylene import prices in northeast Asia rose in early week discussions ahead of cracker turnaround period although the recent weak performance of key downstream sectors has tempered suppliers’ bullish sentiment.

Asia PMMA hits 6-year high; breaches $3,000/tonne on short supply
Asia's polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) prices have climbed to a six-year high – above the $3,000/tonne mark – and may remain supported in the near term because of short supply.

China carbon black prices surge on supply shortage
Carbon black prices in China have continued to surge this year due to a supply shortage amid massive plant shutdowns caused by the Chinese government’s intensifying environmental protection campaign, industry sources said.

Asia ABS faces downward pressure from weak demand, falling SM
Asia's acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) prices are facing downward pressure from slowing demand in the key China market and amid falling feedstock costs.