Topic Page: US-China trade war

Source: ICIS News

2018/07/13

Updated 19 July 2019

The US-China trade war has wide-ranging implications for the chemical industry. On this topic page you will find links to the latest related ICIS news and analysis plus graphics.

US-China tariffs - impact on chemicals and plastics

May 2019 presentation by ICIS Chemical Business Global Editor, Joseph Chang: "US-China tariffs - impact on chemicals and plastics". Click on the slides to enlarge them.

US TARIFFS

  • Part 1 - $34bn. These 25% tariffs were published on 11 June 2018 and imposed on July 6. Click here to see the list. Chemicals are not included.
  • Part 2 - $16bn. These 25% tariffs were published on 11 June 2018 and went into operation on 23 August. The finalised list contains 279 from the original June list of 284. Click here to see the updated list published by the Office of the US Trade Representative.

These tariffs affect around $2.2bn of Chinese exports of chemicals and polymers to the US, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The impact on China’s bulk chemicals and polymers exports to the US is minimal in the second round, at under 10,000 tonnes per product based on 2017 trade flows, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand database.

  • Part 3 - $200bn. These 10-25% tariffs were published on 10 July 2018 and went into operation at 10% on 24 September. On 1 January 2019, the tariffs had been scheduled to rise to 25%.  But Presidents Trump and Xi agreed on 1 December to delay the hike by 90 days as they enter talks to resolve the dispute. This gave a new target date of 1 March 2019 for tariffs potentially to rise. Then in February 2019 President Trump announced he would delay the increase to 25% whilst he finalises a trade deal with China. On 5 May Trump tweeted that he would introduce the 25% rate "shortly", and on 10 May the US confirmed it would impose the higher tariffs.  They applied to goods that left China from midnight on 10 May. 

The US has partially or fully removed 297 products from the original Part 3 list. Click here to see the final tariff list which contains 5,745 of the original 6,031 products in the earlier version.

In it, 142 chemicals and finished plastics (just two finished plastics) were removed compared with the preliminary list, according to an analysis by the ACC. The two finished plastics categories removed are plastic gloves – seamless and otherwise.

The final US round-three list includes a total of 1,363 chemicals and plastics products, of which the US imported $15.4bn worth from China in 2018.

The greatest impact of the US round 3 tariffs will be on finished plastics (chapter 39) imports from China – about $5.6bn worth from 2017 trade figures, according to the ACC. In round two, about $1.4bn in these exports were put under tariff. Organic chemicals come in second at $2.8bn.

For the most part, the products removed from the final list do not include bulk chemicals and plastics resins covered by ICIS, with the exceptions of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and paraffin wax. Also removed are five groups of rare earth elements used in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units, which produce gasoline and refinery-grade propylene.

Across all three rounds, the US tariffs cover 1,516 chemicals and finished plastics, representing $15.4bn in imports from China in 2017. China’s final list of third-round retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of US imports did not change from the original, and will rise from 5-10% up to 5-25% on 1 June 2019.

The round three list includes olefins, aromatics, alcohols, acetyls, acrylics, anhydrides, glycols and glycol ethers. Nitrogen fertilizers and surfactants are included as well as caustic soda and titanium dioxide (TiO2).

  • Part 4 - As China retaliated to the US third round, President Trump has threatened another round of tariffs on $300bn worth of additional imports. These were published on 13 May and were then put out for public consultation. They were due to be implemented at any time from June 2019. At the World Economic Forum on 3 July the two sides agreed to resume talks to try and end the dispute. The list does not contain many chemicals. Some forms of phenol, palm oil, fatty acids and finished plastic goods are targeted.
  • On 13 September 2018 President Trump signed the bipartisan Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), which was unanimously approved by the House and Senate. The legislation aims to remove tariffs against products which cannot be manufactured within the US. President Trump's China tariffs are unaffected by the MTB tariff reductions, which apply to older tariffs.

Work on the bill began in 2016, before the current round of China tariffs was proposed.  It is designed to revise outdated tariffs which the National Association of Manufacturers says are now acting as a tax on US production. Click here to see the full list of products exempted from tariffs by the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.

CHINA TARIFFS

On 15 June China said it would impose a 25% tariff on $50bn of US imports in retaliation for US President Donald Trump's administration moving forward with US tariffs.

  • Part 1 - Tariffs on $34bn of US imports kicked in on 6 July, which included agricultural products such as corn and soybeans but not chemicals. Click here to see this list published in Mandarin.
  • Part 2 - China’s finance ministry also listed a second set of US exports valued at around $16bn, which include a wide variety of US chemical and energy products. China imposed an updated list of these tariffs on 23 August in response to the US tariffs. These tariffs affect around $2bn in US chemical and plastics exports, according to the ACC.

The list includes, for the first time, most grades of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plus all high density PE (HDPE). Ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) has been included as well as polypropylene (PP). Low density PE (LDPE) has been removed from an earlier list.

US bulk chemicals and polymers most impacted by the second round in terms of trade volumes to China are ethylene dichloride (EDC), styrene, HDPE,  LLDPE, monoethylene glycol (MEG) and PP, in that order, according
to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

Click on the slide to make it larger.

  • Part 3 - China’s Ministry of Finance announced on 18 September it would impose 5% and 10% tariffs on $60bn of US imports on 24 September as a countermove against the latest US measure. The tariffs went live, as planned, on 24 September.  Click here to see the full list of chemicals. On 13 May China announced the tariffs would rise from 5%-10% up to 5%-25%. These tariffs went live on 1 June. China has imposed a higher tariff rate of 25% on imports of toluene, xylene, paraxylene, methanol, purified terephthalic acid (PTA), polystyrene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) , toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) and methylene diphenyl di-isocyanate (MDI), among others. These chemicals were previously targeted with tariffs of 10%.

LATEST NEWS

Asia chemical outlook dims on weak Q3 demand, poor economy

19 July 2019 05:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s chemical market outlook is dim amid rising supply, while demand is seasonally weak in the third quarter.

US July PET prices hold steady despite sliding Q2 GDP

18 July 2019 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices have been holding flat from June despite sliding gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter and atypically sluggish market conditions.

South Korea central bank cuts policy interest rates by 25 basis points

18 July 2019 12:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea's central bank cut its policy interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.50% on Thursday, to rev up its sagging economy amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

Indonesia central bank cuts policy interest rates by 25 basis points

18 July 2019 12:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Indonesia’s central bank cut  its policy interest rates by 25 basis points to 5.75% on Thursday, to boost the domestic economy.

Asia benzene pulls back on crude slump; arbitrage to US stays open

18 July 2019 07:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’ benzene prices retreated this week after a recent upswing, weighed down by a slump in crude oil futures on rising US stockpile, while the arbitrage window to the US remains open.

ADB maintains developing Asia growth at 5.7% despite trade war

18 July 2019 05:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday maintained its economic growth target for developing Asia countries at 5.7% this year, even as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

US-China trade war hits MMA, PMMA markets

17 July 2019 17:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Continued trade tensions between the US and China are weighing on both the methyl methacrylate (MMA) and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) markets in the US.

Germany's Brenntag warns of lower earnings as poor economy hits demand

17 July 2019 12:38 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Brenntag has warned that full-year earnings will not meet previous guidance after the company experienced challenging macro-economic conditions in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the German chemicals distributor said this week.

Singapore at risk of technical recession on weak chem exports

17 July 2019 09:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s export-dominant economy is at risk of a technical recession as growth slows in tandem with weakening global trade.

INTERACTIVE: Singapore June petrochemical exports, NODX fall 17%

17 July 2019 05:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore's petrochemical exports in June fell by 16.7% year on year to Singapore dollars (S$) 1.24bn ($912m), weighing on overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX), official data showed on Wednesday.

US BDO Q3 contracts face pressure from feedstocks, global weakness

16 July 2019 22:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butanediol (BDO) Q3 contracts are facing pressure amid lower feedstock costs, ample supply and falling prices in other regions.

Asia VAM supply stays ample despite China output cuts

16 July 2019 06:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) supply may stay long despite production cuts in China amid seasonally weak demand.

Asia EPS downstream demand fails to pick up amid China slowdown

15 July 2019 07:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Asia has failed to pick up as expected, as China’s manufacturing and export sectors continued to slow down amid its trade war with the US.

China Q2 GDP growth weakens to 6.2%, the slowest pace since 1991

15 July 2019 04:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s economy posted a 6.2% year-on-year growth in the second quarter, lower than the 6.4% in the previous quarter and the slowest pace recorded since 1991, official data showed on Monday.

China June exports fall 1.3% on year; imports down 7.3%

12 July 2019 11:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s June exports dipped 1.3% year on year to $212.8bn, a reversal of the 1.1% growth recorded in May, according to preliminary government data released on Friday.

China SM supply to grow on strong import arrivals; Q3 demand weak

12 July 2019 10:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s styrene monomer (SM) market is expected to be inundated by arrivals of imports from Europe due to an open arbitrage window since May, while demand is seasonally weak in the third quarter.

INSIGHT: BASF profit warning signals major chemicals slowdown in second half

10 July 2019 13:00 BARCELONA (ICIS)--BASF’s profit warning signals a major slowdown for the petrochemicals sector globally into the second half of the year.

German Covestro to focus on innovative solutions for growth - CEO

10 July 2019 04:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--German polymer firm Covestro will continue its push for sustainable, innovative solutions for future growth as it looks beyond the bearish near-term impact of global tariff wars and the protracted economic slowdown in China, company CEO Markus Steilemann told ICIS.

US May EG exports surge year on year amid new capacity

09 July 2019 23:31 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene glycol (EG) exports for May almost tripled year on year, according to data from the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

US BDO Q3 contracts face pressure from lower costs, demand

09 July 2019 22:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butanediol (BDO) Q3 contract negotiations continue for most market participants amid downward pressure from lower feedstock costs and some under-performing downstream segments.

Asia nylon chip offers rise as sentiment improves

09 July 2019 10:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for high-speed spinning nylon chip in Asia increased on improved sentiment following a recent truce in the US-China trade war.

Asia naphtha slides on soft crude oil; spot demand returns

09 July 2019 04:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia naphtha markets slipped in tandem with easing crude oil futures, but a return of spot demand coupled with an anticipated fall in excess supply may well provide some needed support.

GCC PMDI prices stable but Asia downtrend could add pressure ahead

08 July 2019 04:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices of polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were stable in the week ended 4 July but the ongoing downtrend in Asian prices could put GCC prices under pressure again in coming weeks.

Asia key petrochemical markets slump on prolonged US-China trade war

05 July 2019 07:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Key petrochemical markets in Asia have suffered double-digit price declines compared with the same period in 2018, amid shrinking global trade and weakened regional economies as the US-China trade war marks its first year.

Slowing global economy hurts chemicals demand

04 July 2019 15:55 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Latest data suggest the global economy is continuing to slow down into the second half of the year, with worrying implications for chemicals demand amid rising supply.

Asia capro sentiment bolstered by US-China trade truce

03 July 2019 11:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Buyers in Asia’s caprolactam (capro) market sought spot import cargoes as sentiment improved after the US-China trade truce in late June.

S Korea petrochemical exports fall for 7th month; down 25% in June

03 July 2019 10:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s petrochemical exports in June slumped by 24.5% year on year, falling for the seventh consecutive month and the steepest recorded so far, official data showed.

Asia PBR demand wanes amid ample supply, slowing economic growth

03 July 2019 06:58 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s demand for polybutadiene rubber (PBR) is expected to soften amid ample supply and slowing manufacturing activities across the region.

Asia ABS firm in cautious trade; suppliers target higher numbers

03 July 2019 05:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices were firm, with suppliers continuing to target higher numbers.

South Korea cuts 2019 economic growth target to 2.4-2.5%

03 July 2019 03:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea on Wednesday cut its economic growth target for 2019 to between 2.4% and 2.5% on slumping external demand resulting from the US-China trade war.

US BDO Q3 contract talks continue amid lower feedstock costs

02 July 2019 23:08 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butanediol (BDO) Q3 contract negotiations continue at the start of the third quarter, with expectations of settlements in mid-July.

Asia benzene sentiment robust post-G20, open arbitrage

02 July 2019 08:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The market sentiment in Asia benzene has become robust on the back of buoyant energy markets, after the US and China agreed on a trade truce at the G20 summit in Japan in late June.

Asia June industries weaken; China poses strong downside risks

02 July 2019 06:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s manufacturing activity weakened in June as the US-China trade war continued to dampen business sentiment, with heightened downside risks from China’s economic slowdown, according to analysts.

South Korea June exports fall 13.5%; imports down 11.1%

01 July 2019 15:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s exports in June declined by 13.5% year on year to $44.2bn, contracting for the sixth month amid deteriorating external conditions due to the US-China trade war, official data showed on Monday.

INTERACTIVE: IHS Markit Taiwan June PMI falls to 45.5

01 July 2019 09:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--IHS Markit's Taiwan manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 45.5 in June, marking the lowest level seen since November 2011, amid lower output and overseas sales, the financial information services provider said on Monday.

Asia petrochemical shares surge as US-China trade talks resume

01 July 2019 06:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia were trading higher on Monday, in line with gains in regional bourses, following official resumption of trade talks between the US and China, with investors shrugging off a slew of downbeat economic data for now.

INTERACTIVE: IHS Markit S Korea June manufacturing PMI slips to 47.5

01 July 2019 05:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--IHS Markit's South Korea manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 47.5 in June from 48.4 in May, with both output and new orders posting faster rates of declines, the financial information services firm said on Monday.

US agrees to hold off on more tariffs against China

01 July 2019 02:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US and China reached a ceasefire in their trade dispute, under which the US will not impose additional tariffs and China will begin buying more agricultural goods, President Donald Trump said.

US June MEG and DEG contracts decrease amid bearish supply and demand fundamentals

28 June 2019 23:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US June monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG) contracts saw decreases, with downward pressure expected to continue next month amid lengthy supply.

New capacities, trade tensions create headwinds for US PE market entering H2

27 June 2019 10:53 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US polyethylene (PE) market is facing headwinds going into the second half of the year as ongoing trade tensions weigh on exports - even as more new export-focused capacities come online.

China PBR demand to stay soft in H2 on slumping car market

27 June 2019 09:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese demand for polybutadiene rubber (PBR) is expected to be soft in the second half of 2019 due to falling automotive sales, uncertain outlook and slowing economic growth.

Asia MMA under pressure as US-China trade war rattles confidence

27 June 2019 07:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) market faces downward pressure, as the unresolved US-China trade war rattles consumer appetite further, overshadowing the effects of supply production cuts currently in place.

Asia EPDM market to remain weak on long supply, sluggish demand

27 June 2019 07:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) market is expected to remain weak as long supply and sluggish downstream demand may exert further downward pressure on the market.

Malaysia domestic PE market subdued despite lower July offers

27 June 2019 06:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Trades in Malaysia’s domestic polyethylene (PE) market remain subdued despite lower offers due to uncertainty being generated by the US-China trade tensions.

Asia base oils market outlook bleak on oversupply, weak crude

26 June 2019 05:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s spot base oils market is facing a bleak outlook in the second half of the year due to oversupply, with new Group II capacity coming on stream in China, and amid a general weakness in upstream crude values.

China SBR demand to stay soft in H2 amid economic slowdown

26 June 2019 05:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s styrene butadiene (BD) rubber market is expected to be soft in the second half of 2019 due to waning demand amid a slowing economy.

Asia naphtha gathers momentum as demand picks up

26 June 2019 05:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia naphtha markets firmed up on the back of steady end-user demand that is envisaged to grow.

Asia ABS extend gains on firmer buying interest

26 June 2019 04:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market continued to firm as buying interest emerged after weeks of softness.

Asia’s economic performance under geopolitical threat - expert

26 June 2019 03:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia is seeing a convergence of geoeconomic and geopolitical risks which pose a serious threat to growth in the region, said an expert in international affairs on Wednesday.

Asia PS buying sentiment cools on tepid downstream demand

25 June 2019 11:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polystyrene (PS) buying sentiment is poised to stay soft on tepid demand from the packaging sector and in the shadow of the ongoing US-China trade war.

Middle East base oils likely to remain depressed through H2 2019

25 June 2019 03:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Middle East base oils market has experienced a depressing first half of 2019 with more pessimism expected in the second half as geopolitical tensions continue to simmer, threatening trade flows in the region.

Asia petchem shares higher on US-China trade deal hopes

19 June 2019 04:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemical shares were sharply higher on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump said he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week for talks, easing investor concerns about a protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

More supply to exert pressure on China’s PE market in H2 2019

19 June 2019 07:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Increased supply from new units starting up will place pressure on China’s polyethylene (PE) market in the second half of 2019, amid ongoing US-China trade tensions.

China PP under pressure from trade war, new capacities

14 June 2019 07:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's polypropylene (PP) import and domestic markets face downward pressure from prospects of supply glut and weak demand, brought on by new capacities and the fallout in trade negotiations with the US.

Asia ABS extend losses on tepid demand amid ongoing trade war

13 June 2019 08:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market weakened again this week as demand across the region remained lacklustre.

Chinese SBR demand weakens on slump in auto sales, slowing growth

13 June 2019 05:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese demand for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) has weakened because of falling automotive sales, weak market conditions and slowing growth.

India SBR demand to stay weak on falling auto sales, slowing economy

12 June 2019 06:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) demand is expected to remain weak amid falling automotive sales and a slowing economy.

China vows to fight as US threatens to impose more tariffs

11 June 2019 11:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will firmly respond and fight if the US insists on escalating trade frictions, while keeping its door open for talks to resolve the dispute, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Asia MEK falls to 11-week low; bearish sentiment persists

11 June 2019 06:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) spot prices in Asia have declined by around 17-19% over 11 weeks on the back of perpetual high inventory levels, with bearish sentiment expected to prevail in the coming weeks.

China May exports grow 1.1% on year; imports fall 8.5%

10 June 2019 10:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s May exports increased by 1.1% year on year to $213.9bn, reversing the 2.7% decline in April, according to preliminary government data released on Monday.

Asia PMMA on 1-yr losing streak amid trade war; eyes on G20 summit

10 June 2019 05:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) import markets have been on a losing streak over the past twelve months, as the long-drawn US-China trade battle continues to rain blows on consumer sentiment.

Asia BPA prices slump on fragile market climate

07 June 2019 04:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s bisphenol A (BPA) markets faltered in the wake of dwindling downstream demand, while the US-China trade war could generate further pressure on sentiment in the near term.

Asia EPDM downtrend on eighth month; demand may not pick up soon

07 June 2019 03:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) prices have been falling since October 2018 because of a supply glut and slowing demand, which may not pick up in the near future.

INTERACTIVE: Singapore May manufacturing activity deteriorates

06 June 2019 11:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore's factory activity deteriorated in May, with its official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) falling into a contraction mode for the first time 32 months, amid increasing concerns about the escalation of trade tensions between the US and China.

India central bank cuts key lending rate by 25 basis points

06 June 2019 09:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s central bank on Thursday cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 5.75% with immediate effect to shore up its economy amid a slowdown in investment activity and consumer spending.

Asia ABS retreats on weak demand amid trade war

06 June 2019 08:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market weakened further as demand in the region is soft and is likely to stay that way in the near term especially as US-China trade war is keeping buyers away.

Asia MEG slumps on heavy overnight losses in upstream crude market

06 June 2019 07:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) spot discussions slumped on Thursday, following heavy losses in upstream crude market overnight and amid ongoing concerns over the US-China trade spat.

IMF forecasts China growth to slow to 6.2% in 2019; 6.0% in 2020

05 June 2019 10:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday that economic growth in China is expected to moderate to 6.2% in 2019 and 6.0% in 2020, as uncertainty around trade tensions remain high and risks are tilted to the downside.

Asia polyacetal slumps to two-year lows; demand to stay subdued

04 June 2019 08:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polyacetal (POM) prices have slumped to their two-year lows after eight consecutive months of downtrend largely due to the US-China trade war, with demand expected to remain subdued.

East Asia 2-EH faces further pressure from weak demand

03 June 2019 10:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--East Asia’s 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) market may come under further pressure in the near term due to weak demand from downstream plasticizers, especially the dioctyl phthalate (DOP) sector in China.

Asia's factory activity in May remains weak as escalating trade war fans worries

03 June 2019 08:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s manufacturing activity broadly weakened last month with export markets expected to remain weighed down in the near term by the escalating trade war between the US and China.

China accuses US for failing trade consultations - white paper

03 June 2019 08:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China blamed the US for the inability of both countries to sort out their trade differences, saying Washington has breached consensus and backtracked.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's S Korea manufacturing PMI falls in May; exports down 9.4%

03 June 2019 04:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's South Korea manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a three-month low of 48.4 in May from 50.2 in April as new export orders fell for the tenth straight month, the Japanese media firm said on Monday.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's Japan manufacturing PMI slips to 49.8

03 June 2019 03:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's Japan manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) edged lower to 49.8 in May from 50.2 in April, weighed by the employment sub-index as new order intakes dipping for the fifth straight month, the Japanese media firm said on Monday.

Vietnam PP market bearish despite fewer Chinese exports

31 May 2019 10:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Vietnam’s polypropylene (PP) market sentiment has remained bearish amid muted buying interest, even as exports of Chinese cargoes have dried up over the weeks.

Asia's glycerine supply glut to ease in August on output cuts

31 May 2019 08:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Though the Asian glycerine market is currently mired in a supply glut and bearish buying sentiment, the situation could change in August when biodiesel producers in Malaysia and Indonesia put on a brake on high output.

South Korea central bank keeps policy interest rate at 1.75%

31 May 2019 06:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s central bank maintained on Friday its policy interest rate at 1.75%, citing a slight recovery in the domestic economy from a slowdown in the first quarter.

US announces tariffs on all imports from Mexico

31 May 2019 05:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico starting 10 June this year.

Middle East polymer polyols stable to soft amid weak demand

31 May 2019 04:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices for 10-13.5% polymer polyols (POP) in the Middle East were stable to soft in the week ended 30 May as offers were reduced due to weak demand from buyers in the region.

China industries in contraction in May; official PMI dips below 50

31 May 2019 04:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s manufacturing sector slipped into contraction mode in May, with its official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) falling to 49.4, down from 50.1 in April.

China to source bulk of phenol imports from Saudi Arabia

30 May 2019 07:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will be looking more at Saudi Arabia for the bulk of its phenol imports after imposing antidumping duties (ADDs) on material originating from five origins, including main suppliers, South Korea and the US.

Asia PC tumbles to near 10-year low on supply glut

29 May 2019 07:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polycarbonate (PC) markets have slumped to record lows in nearly a decade, pummeled by a plentiful supply situation that could persist amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

Asia ABS steady after recent rout; demand remains lacklustre

29 May 2019 05:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market started to stabilize this week after a recent rout from the escalation of the US-China trade war.
Elevated feedstock costs have propped up the resins market while demand remained lacklustre.

Asia SBR makers hike offers on BD gains; demand to stay weak

29 May 2019 04:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) producers have hiked their offers in response to recent rebound in feedstock butadiene (BD) prices, even though demand is expected to remain subdued amid weakness in China’s automotive sector.

INTERACTIVE: Asia TiO2 weighed down by escalating trade tensions

28 May 2019 07:14 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Titanium dioxide (TiO2) prices in Asia are expected to remain weighed down by heightened trade tensions between the US and China.

China SBR under pressure from weak tyre demand amid trade war

27 May 2019 10:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market is under pressure from weak demand for downstream tyre products, amid the escalating US-China trade war and declines in domestic car sales.

China imposes prelim ADDs phenol imports from five origins

27 May 2019 07:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has imposed preliminary antidumping duties (ADDs) of 11.9% to 129.6% on phenol imports from the US, EU, South Korea, Japan and Thailand with immediate effect.

China may import more PP in June on Asia plant start-ups, restarts

27 May 2019 05:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) imports are expected to grow in June amid increased availability of supply in Asia, with two new start-ups and as some facilities complete their turnarounds.

Kuwait’s EQUATE Q1 earnings fall amid US-China trade war uncertainty

24 May 2019 08:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--EQUATE’s first-quarter earnings were hit by market uncertainties stemming from the US-China trade war, the Kuwait-based petrochemical group said on Friday.

Decent Asia SAN demand put prices close to parity with ABS

23 May 2019 07:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Good demand for styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) in Asia has caused prices to trade near to parity with acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) this year.

Indian plastic processing industry likely to benefit from US-China standoff – industry sources

22 May 2019 10:44 GUANGZHOU (ICIS)--The US-China trade war is likely to benefit Indian polyolefin processors in the medium to long term, with a possible increase in finished goods exports to the US, industry sources said.

China hurting from high cost, low demand amid trade war

22 May 2019 05:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US firms with operations in China are hurting from lower demand for products, higher manufacturing costs and higher sales prices of products, as direct consequences of the trade war between the two economic giants.

Singapore revises down full-year GDP forecast; Q1 growth at 1.2%

21 May 2019 10:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s economy is projected to post a revised full-year 2019 growth of 1.5-2.5%, down from the previous forecast of 1.5-3.5%, citing a ”weaker external demand outlook”, its Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Tuesday.

Middle East polyether polyols prices may mark further declines

21 May 2019 05:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices of polyether polyols in the Middle East declined and further weakness could be on the cards as some producers could offer discount to entice buying interest amid worries about the impact of the China-US trade war on downstream polyurethane foam demand.

Asia PS buying sentiment to remain soft on US-China trade war

21 May 2019 05:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polystyrene (PS) buying sentiment is poised to remain soft due to the ongoing- US-China trade war, which has cast a shadow of uncertainty over different markets.

GCC TDI gains running out of steam as China prices stumble

21 May 2019 04:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were assessed stable in the week ended 16 May, indicating that the recent uptrend is running out of steam as prices in China also declined amid the escalating US-China trade war.

Turkish PE and PP prices stable-to-firm despite rattled nerves

17 May 2019 15:46 LONDON (ICIS)--Turkish economic and political woes have balanced with bullish suppliers of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), leading to an uneasy stability for most products.

APIC '19: US-China trade war may affect acetic acid industry chain

17 May 2019 15:14 Taipei (ICIS) – The whole acetic acid industry chain may suffer from the US-China trade war in the long term, industry players said.

INTERACTIVE: Falling automotive sales hit global chemical markets

17 May 2019 13:06 BARCELONA (ICIS)--Automotive sales are falling in all major regions of the world, with knock-on effects for chemicals demand in many value chains.

Asia PS import prices fall on lower China domestic prices

17 May 2019 11:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) prices in Asia are lower on falling domestic Chinese prices.

China domestic SM prices fall amid trade war with US

17 May 2019 10:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic styrene monomer (SM) prices fell in the week due to the ongoing US-China trade war, which undermined confidence in the chemical market.

China DOTP downtrend to continue on poor demand

17 May 2019 09:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Recent losses in dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) spot prices are poised to extend in China, unless domestic demand rebounds, prospect of which is grim as long as the ongoing US-China trade conflict remains unresolved.

Chinese BDO market stabilizes while European expectations rise

17 May 2019 08:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--While China's butanediol (BDO) domestic prices stabilize on slack domestic demand and lower output, European expectations rise with hopes of a rebound in the global market.

Rising port inventories, weak demand to weigh on China sulphur market

17 May 2019 07:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China domestic sulphur prices remain weak at present and are likely to be dampened further because port inventories will continue to increase while downstream peak demand season has come to an end.

APIC ’19: Taiwan’s benzene demand normalizes and expected steady into third quarter

17 May 2019 05:57 TAIPEI (ICIS)--Demand of benzene in Taiwan has normalized and will remain so into the third quarter after a stronger month of April and May, market sources said on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2019 being held in Taipei on 16-17 May.

Asia IPA under pressure on lower trades; to bottom out soon

17 May 2019 04:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia isopropanol (IPA) is under pressure on lower trades and discussions, but market players largely believed that it may soon bottom out amid a tightened supply.

China BG price rebound in sight amid supply uncertainty

17 May 2019 04:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's butyl glycol (BG) spot prices could rebound amid supply uncertainty, as the market is concerned over imports from a key Middle East supplier dogged by recent production issues.

APIC ’19: Asia’s phenol June outlook cautiously stable

17 May 2019 04:32 TAIPEI (ICIS)--Asia’s phenol projections in June were cautiously stable, according to market players on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2019 being held in Taipei on 16-17 May.

US June MPG prices face upward pressure on propylene costs

16 May 2019 23:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monopropylene glycol (MPG) prices in June are facing upward pressure amid expectations of an increase for May propylene contracts.

European May SAN contracts rise by €20/tonne on key feedstock styrene

16 May 2019 19:36 LONDON (ICIS)--Contract price negotiations in the European styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) market have finalised at a slight increase, driven by the rising costs of feedstock styrene.

Europe epoxy resins prices could change direction on shifting supply, demand

16 May 2019 18:42 LONDON (ICIS)--Developments on the European epoxy resins market indicate that price direction may have changed compared to last month, ahead of May contract settlements.

US-China trade war further raises risks for global economy - ACC economist

16 May 2019 17:19 JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (ICIS)--The escalation in the US-China trade war adds to the considerable risks in a slowing global economy, the chief economist of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Thursday.

Europe TiO2 contract volumes sufficient, limited spot flexibility for certain chloride grades

16 May 2019 17:05 LONDON (ICIS)--European titanium dioxide (TiO2) contract volumes are sufficiently covered, but there is limited supply flexibility outside of contracts for certain chloride grades due to shifts in market share and structural factors.

China PO import deals likely scarce as local prices dip

16 May 2019 11:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's propylene oxide (PO) is likely to face limited import activities this week, curtailed by slides in Chinese yuan-denominated prices for spot material in the domestic market.

China ABS prices to fall on shrinking demand exacerbated by trade woes

16 May 2019 09:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices are expected to fall further in the near term, as deepening US-China trade frictions accelerated the drop in downstream demand.

APIC ’19: Asia SAN margins poor on weak resins and elevated feedstock values

16 May 2019 08:25 TAIPEI (ICIS)--Asia styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) margins have worsened from April after a profitable first quarter, market sources said on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2019 being held in Taipei on 16-17 May.

APIC ’19: Asia ABS demand weakens amid trade war woes

16 May 2019 08:02 TAIPEI (ICIS)--The Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market is expected to remain weak in the near term, following the recent escalation of the US-China trade war, market sources said on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2019 being held in Taipei on 16-17 May.

APIC '19: Asia ACN uptrend to be capped by slowing demand

16 May 2019 07:21 TAIPEI (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile (ACN) price uptrend may be capped by slowing demand from downstream derivative markets, even as tight supply is expected to remain in the near term.

Huntsman seeks 5 cent/lb increase on US MPG in June

15 May 2019 22:06 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman has issued a price increase initiative of 5 cents/lb for monopropylene glycol (MPG) effective 1 June, according to a customer letter.

INSIGHT: Trade war adds pressure on weakening Latin America PET

15 May 2019 20:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tensions caused by the US-China tariffs war are affecting the Latin American polyethylene terephthalate (PET) markets by driving prices down at a time when the seasonal lull has already taken a toll.

US March EG exports decrease year on year amid trade tariffs

15 May 2019 19:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US ethylene glycol (EG) exports for March fell 21% year on year, according to data from ICIS Supply and Demand Database.

China MEG hits three-year low; may extend falls on weak demand

15 May 2019 10:56 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices have plunged to a three-year low, and may continue falling amid ample supply while demand from downstream polyester market has weakened as the US-China trade war escalated.

China, HK TDI import prices to change course on US-China trade war

15 May 2019 05:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot import prices of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in China are likely to reverse from the current uptrend and head south amid an intense trade row with the US, sufficient supply and sluggish demand.

INSIGHT: US-China tariff escalation threatens H2 earnings recovery

14 May 2019 23:45 NEW YORK (ICIS)--The US-China trade war escalation with both parties ramping up tariffs threatens to dampen or kill the second-half earnings recovery many chemical companies and analysts had been expecting.

German investor confidence slips on weak economic forecasts, trade fears

14 May 2019 12:49 LONDON (ICIS)--German investor sentiment slipped back to negative levels in May on the back of a subdued mid-term domestic economic outlook and trade fears, as tensions between the US and China continue to escalate, research institute ZEW said on Tuesday.

APIC '19: Asia petchems cautious; trade war worsens ahead of key industry event

14 May 2019 11:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Trades in Asia's petrochemical markets are largely cautious ahead of a major regional conference, as uncertainty over the intensifying trade war between the US and China continued to cloud business sentiment.

China PP exports grow amid falling domestic prices, weak yuan

14 May 2019 10:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) export volume, primarily to Vietnam, has been growing amid plunging domestic prices and the recent depreciation of the Chinese yuan.

East China SM prices drop by 3%

14 May 2019 10:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Styrene monomer (SM) prices in east China were down by 3% on 14 May compared with 10 May on weak financial markets, ICIS data showed.

SE Asia PP market under pressure as US-China trade war escalates

14 May 2019 10:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Sentiment in the southeast (SE) Asian polypropylene (PP) market is expected to remain weighed down by escalating trade tensions between US and China.

China’s LLDPE futures fall by 2.8% on trade war esclation

14 May 2019 10:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) futures fell by 2.8% on Tuesday on concerns over the escalating trade war between the US and China.

APIC '19: Asia petchem trade cautious ahead of key regional conference

14 May 2019 07:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Trades in Asia's petrochemical markets are largely cautious ahead of a major regional conference, as uncertainty over the intensifying trade war between the US and China continued to cloud business sentiment.

China’s 25% tariff to hit US polymers, aromatics by June

14 May 2019 07:23 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s latest tit-for-tat move in its 10-month trade war with the US will hit some key chemicals such as polymers, aromatics and methanol.

Asia petrochemical shares tumble on escalating US-China trade war

14 May 2019 04:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical firms in Asia were mostly lower on Tuesday after China announced that it will raise tariffs on $60bn worth of US goods from 1 June, escalating the trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

US releases $300bn list of new tariff targets against China

14 May 2019 02:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US released on Monday a list of new tariffs of up to 25% that it could impose on $300bn worth of Chinese goods.

China raises tariffs on wide swath of US chems

13 May 2019 23:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)--China has raised tariffs on a broad range of US exports of chemicals and plastics in the latest escalation of the trade dispute between the two countries.

Global methanol demand to increase with new output - Moody’s

13 May 2019 22:35 HOUSTON (ICIS)--New methanol supply coming on line in 2019 should not oversaturate the market, as demand growth is expected to reach 4-5% in both traditional and non-traditional uses, Moody’s Investors Service said.

US chem stocks close lower as Dow Jones falls 2.38%

13 May 2019 22:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The shares of US-listed chemical companies followed by ICIS closed sharply lower on Monday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 2.3%.

US chems fall sharply as Dow Jones falls over 2.5% on trade worries

13 May 2019 19:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The shares of US-listed chemical companies followed by ICIS traded sharply lower on Monday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 2.5%.

South Korea is still biggest PP exporter to China, non-dutiable areas are main import sources

13 May 2019 17:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) imports are still increasing year on year, but the share of imports in apparent demand (domestic output plus import volumes, minus export volumes) is declining gradually as self sufficiency increases.

INTERACTIVE: China Apr car sales fall 14.6% on yr; output down 14.5%

13 May 2019 09:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s vehicles sales in April declined 14.6% year on year to 1.98m units, marking their 10th consecutive month of contraction amid continued pressure on the broader economy, industry data showed on Monday.
Total car sales in the first four months of 2019 fell by 12.1% on year to 8.35m units, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

China LLDPE at 10-year low; may stay weak on bearish sentiment

13 May 2019 09:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices have fallen to their lowest level in more than 10 years and may remain soft on bearish sentiment.
On 10 May, weekly LLDPE prices were assessed at yuan (CNY) 8,225/tonne ($1,199/tonne) EXWH (ex-warehouse) east China, down by 2% from the previous week, ICIS data showed.

Asia isomer-grade xylene supply-demand turns more balanced

13 May 2019 07:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s isomer-grade mixed xylenes (MX) supply and demand fundamentals are becoming more balanced, which would keep prices firm.
Supply is currently on the long side but will come under control as producers have started to run at reduced rates.

NE Asia propylene market braces for more uncertainties

13 May 2019 05:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Northeast Asia’s spot propylene market could be entering a new period of uncertainty with the recent escalation in the trade dispute between the US and China.
Demand may weaken as downstream run rates could fall.

China hikes tariffs on $60bn of US goods from June

13 May 2019 14:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will raise tariffs on $60bn-worth of US imports from 1 June as countermeasure against the recent US duties hike on Chinese goods, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday.

SE Asia PE steady as China markets tumble after US imposes higher tariffs

13 May 2019 10:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polyethylene (PE) import prices tumbled in the week ended 10 May after the US slapped higher tariffs on the country's imports, but the southeast Asian market largely held steady amid dampened sentiment, which might exert pressure on the market in the near term.

Escalating US-China trade war threatens H2 chem recovery - analyst

10 May 2019 19:58 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The recent escalation in the trade dispute between the US and China is raising doubts about a recovery that the chemical industry has expected to take place in the second half of this year, analysts at an investment bank said on Friday.

US NACD urges Trump to reconsider 25% tariffs on China imports

10 May 2019 19:43 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) on Friday urged US President Donald Trump’s administration to rethink its 25% tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the US because of a negative impact on the chemical distribution industry.

US-China tariffs 'a slight positive' for Tronox - CEO

10 May 2019 17:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The latest round of hostilities in the US-China trade dispute, with increases in US tariffs kicking in on Friday, could be a “slight positive” for international titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment major Tronox, CEO Jeffry Quinn said during the company's Q1 earnings call.

Pakistan’s PP demand slumps amid China losses

10 May 2019 17:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot polypropylene (PP) prices in Pakistan fell during the week as sharp losses in China exacerbated the prevailing bearish sentiment.

Asia PET market sentiment dampened by US-China trade tensions

10 May 2019 17:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--An escalation of US-China trade tensions saw a weakening of macroeconomic sentiment and spot buying interest for polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

East China benzene prices were stable to firmer in the week

10 May 2019 15:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--East China benzene spot prices were assessed at China yuan (CNY) 4,500-4,550 /tonne on 10 May, lifted by CNY75 /tonne compared to 30 April.

Trade war, new US plants lead to PE influx to Brazil

10 May 2019 15:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The trade dispute between the US and China as well as the startup of new US plants have led to an influx of polyethylene (PE) exports to Brazil.

East China toluene prices decrease week on week

10 May 2019 15:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot toluene prices in east China local toluene prices decreased week on week amid bearish market sentiment.

East China xylene prices fall amid tariff fears

10 May 2019 14:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot xylene prices in eastern China fell heavily in the week, as the threat of higher tariffs by the US on Chinese products weighed on sentiment.

End to US-China trade truce heightens threat to global economy

10 May 2019 12:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The US’ tariff hike on hundreds of billions of Chinese goods would trigger a further shift in global trade flows for some petrochemicals, possibly benefiting southeast Asian markets in the short run, while posing a more serious threat to world economic prospects.

Asia PS import prices stable-to-soft on weaker buying sentiment

10 May 2019 12:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) prices in Asia are stable-to-soft due to weaker buying sentiment.

Trade war to hit US specialty chems hardest – SOCMA

10 May 2019 12:00 LONDON (ICIS)--The intensification in the trade dispute between the US and China is likely to impact hardest on specialties producers in the US chemicals space due to their reliance on the Asian superpower for feedstocks, trade group the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) said on Friday.

China's PE bearish on yuan depreciation, blazing trade row with US

10 May 2019 09:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polyethylene (PE) market is set for a free fall in prices after having spiraled downwards this week, amid a currency depreciation against the US dollar that would hurt imports.

China PO domestic prices to halt uptrend on weak demand

10 May 2019 07:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s propylene oxide (PO) prices may halt their recent tight supply-fueled uptrend, as demand may not significantly pick up in the near term.

Asia petchems shares gain on hopes of last-minute US-China trade deal

10 May 2019 04:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical firms in Asia rebounded on Friday morning, after investors turned to short-covering on hopes that a last-minute trade deal between the US and China could be achieved.

US-China trade tensions weigh on PET market uncertainty

09 May 2019 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Trade tensions between the US and China may be affecting  US polyethylene terephthalate (PET), among other plastics markets, more than previously anticipated.

New US-China tariffs would affect US corporates - Fitch

09 May 2019 17:46 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The threat of additional US tariffs on Chinese goods kicking in on 10 May, and retaliation by China, means that the US-China trade dispute could become a longer-than-expected headwind for US corporations, credit ratings agency Fitch warned in a report on Thursday.

Europe TiO2 supply patterns could change on US-China dispute, Cristal-Tronox merger

09 May 2019 17:42 LONDON (ICIS)--More imports of titanium dioxide (TiO2) could come into Europe in coming months amid the escalating US-China trade war and the merger between Tronox and Cristal.

Asia adipic acid outlook unclear amid reduced supply, poor demand

09 May 2019 11:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s adipic acid (ADA) market outlook is unclear as an expected reduction in regional supply coincides with sluggish demand.
In the week ended 8 May, spot ADA prices for China-origin cargoes were unchanged for two weeks at $1,100-1,130/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia.

Asia butyl acrylate weakens on slowing demand, ample supply

09 May 2019 10:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butyl acrylate (butyl-A) spot prices were down this week and the commodity will likely continue to suffer from a slowdown in demand amid abundant supply.
While the market sentiment has been hit by volatility in the global economy and geopolitical dynamics, the price decline would be capped and likely to be gradual thanks to broadly stable feedstock prices and squeezed producers’ margin.

China polypropylene prices in free fall on healthy supply, dull demand

09 May 2019 10:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) prices in China are heading south amid subdued trading in a domestic market awash with supply and compounded by the escalating US-China trade war.
Both PP futures and spot prices have been sliding since US President Donald Trump's threat to raise tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% on 10 May.

Asia petchem markets brace for escalation of US-China trade war

09 May 2019 07:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical trades in Asia turned largely cautious this week, after the US issued a threat to hike tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods to 25% on 10 May, including chemicals and plastics, with China vowing to respond with countermeasures.
Regional prices of some petrochemicals were stable to softer as buyers retreated to the sidelines.

China threatens countermeasures if US raises tariffs

08 May 2019 17:49 HOUSTON (ICIS)--China will adopt countermeasures if the US carries out with its threat to raise tariffs on imports from that country.

China April exports dip 2.7% on year; imports up 4%

08 May 2019 11:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's April exports dipped 2.7% year on year to $193.5bn, a reversal from a growth of 14.2% recorded in March, according to preliminary government data released on Wednesday.
China's April imports, on the other hand, rose by 4% year on year to $179.7bn, stemming a decline for the first time in four months.

China's seasonally slow MLLDPE demand worsens on renewed trade tensions

08 May 2019 09:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's demand for metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) is expected to remain seasonally weak in the near term, with renewed trade tensions between US and China threatening to aggravate sentiment even further.
Fresh offers for May shipments of hexene-based (C6) MLLDPE cargoes at $1,310/tonne CFR (cost and freight) CMP (China Main Ports) elicited little interest from Chinese buyers.

Asia PC prices slump in the wake of US-China trade tensions

08 May 2019 04:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia polycarbonate (PC) markets are set to stay under downward pressure as renewed trade tensions between the US and China rattle consumer demand.
Spot prices of PC on the import front and Chinese domestic markets spiralled down, against a backdrop of adequate supply outpacing demand.

INSIGHT: US tariff hike on Chinese imports to magnify impact on chems, plastics

07 May 2019 23:40 NEW YORK (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s threat to raise tariffs on the latest batch of $200bn in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% on 10 May would hit a far broader range of chemicals and plastics, magnifying the impact on the US, Chinese and global economies.

China PSF 1.4D stable; US-China trade tensions weigh on sentiment

07 May 2019 10:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for China-origin polyester staple fibre (PSF) 1.4 denier (D) cargoes were stable this week, but market sentiment is being weighed down by economic uncertainties and heightened US-China trade tensions. Offers were unchanged from the previous week’s levels of $1.09-1.10/KG FOB (free on board) China, after an extended Labour Day holiday on 1-3 May.

Asia BD may remain flat as buyers retreat amid US tariff threat

07 May 2019 06:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butadiene (BD) spot prices are likely to remain flat as players retreated to the sidelines following the US’ threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports.

Asia ABS slides on demand concerns as US-China trade war escalates

07 May 2019 06:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market weakened on concerns over softening demand amid an escalation of the US-China trade war.

ACC warns US about using tariffs as negotiating tactic with China

06 May 2019 23:36 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) warned US trade negotiators against using the threat of tariffs as a negotiating tactic in its talks with China, saying on Monday that the risks are too high and the benefits unclear.

US Trade Rep repeats Trump's threat of more tariffs on China – reports

06 May 2019 22:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the country plans to raise tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, repeating an earlier threat from the US president, according to news reports on Monday.

US chem stocks fall despite big recovery on Dow Jones

06 May 2019 22:12 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-listed chemical stocks followed by ICIS mostly failed to match Monday's turnaround on the major indices in the US, which opened the day much lower after President Donald Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese exports.

US MEK importers hold back on Trump's tariff threats

06 May 2019 18:51 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market is once again facing a period of heightened insecurity and import pressure, as US President Donald Trump has threatened additional tariffs on Chinese material.

China’s polyolefins prices starting to pick up, but uncertainty remains - Borealis

06 May 2019 15:25 LONDON (ICIS)--Polyolefins prices in China have shown some signs of recovery over the past few weeks but “it is too early to tell” if the trend will endure in light of persistent economic uncertainty, the CEO and CFO at Borealis said on Monday.

European chemicals stocks hit by US’ tariff hike threat

06 May 2019 11:13 LONDON (ICIS)--European stock markets opened on Monday with losses as the US President threatened over the weekend to further hike tariffs further on Chinese goods.

China’s mixed aromatics could decline on soft demand, weak crude

06 May 2019 11:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s mixed aromatic prices are expected to fall on the back of the sharp decline in international crude prices and soft downstream demand from gasoline blenders.

China petchems rattled by fresh US tariffs hike, possible new Iran sanctions

06 May 2019 10:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s unexpected move to increase the tariffs on some $200bn worth of Chinese imports will likely further rattle  domestic petrochemical markets in the near term.

China SM falls on weak crude, financial markets on trade war concerns

06 May 2019 10:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Domestic styrene monomer (SM) prices dropped by CNY 30-50/tonne from the previous day on weak crude and financial markets, ICIS data showed on Monday.

Asia oxo-alcohols to see thin trades, small fluctuations amid uncertainties

06 May 2019 08:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot trades for oxo alcohols markets in Asia could increase compared with the week that ended 3 May but buyers and sellers are not expected to have too much activity in the near term.

Asia freight rates outlook bearish on soft market sentiment

06 May 2019 04:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS--The outlook for freight rates on most Asian routes is likely to stay bearish due to overall soft market sentiment from charterers and plentiful tonnage space available.

Asia petchem shares, crude oil slump after Trump vows tariff hike

06 May 2019 03:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petchem shares tumbled in early trade on Monday after US President Donald Trump vowed to raise US tariffs on Chinese imports later this week.

Trump threatens to raise tariffs on chems, other China imports to 25%

05 May 2019 19:39 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump threatened on Sunday to raise tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200bn worth of Chinese imports, including several chemicals and plastics.

US MEG supply and demand balanced, but faces pressure from new capacity

03 May 2019 23:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May monoethylene glycol (MEG) supply and demand are more balanced from the previous month due to an increase in production, but fundamentals could shift as new capacity comes on line this year.

US-China trade deal could boost MEG via polyester – Dow

02 May 2019 23:02 HOUSTON (ICIS)--A resolution of the trade dispute between the US and China could boost demand for polyester used in textiles, which could provide momentum for prices for monoethylene glycol (MEG), the CEO of US-based Dow said on Thursday.

INTERACTIVE: US manufacturing expands but at slower rate in April – ISM

01 May 2019 16:17 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US manufacturing activity expanded for the 32nd consecutive month in April but at a slower rate from March, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) said on Wednesday.

US expansion should last for next 12 months - NABE survey

29 April 2019 12:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The current US economic expansion should last for at least the next year, according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) released on Monday.

Feiplastic '19: Brazil’s Braskem faces competition from PE, PP imports

24 April 2019 18:12 SAO PAULO (ICIS)--Brazil’s Braskem is facing heavy competition from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) imports, while trying to keep good results for its sale discussions with LyondellBasell, market participants in Brazil said on the sidelines of this year’s Feiplastic.

China-Iran crude trades to continue despite end to US’ waivers

24 April 2019 06:24 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is expected to continue its crude oil trades with Iran despite the US’ decision to end waivers granted to eight major buyers of Iranian supply from 2 May.
Asia's biggest economy and the world's second largest relies on Iran for about 6% – equivalent to 593,607 bbl/day – of its annual crude imports.

Asia ABS steady while trade in China thins ahead of holiday

24 April 2019 07:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market was stable while trade remained slow in the key Chinese market, as demand appeared to have waned ahead of the Labour Day holidays next week.

Mexico’s polyethylene prices still under downward pressure

19 April 2019 23:13 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Mexico’s polyethylene (PE) prices were heard at slightly lower levels this week.

Operating rates remain healthy at refineries on US Gulf coast

17 April 2019 21:04 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Operating rates at refineries along the US Gulf coast remained healthy in February and March, the Federal Reserve (Fed) said in its Beige Book on Wednesday.

Japan Mar chem shipments rise 0.6%; overall exports fall 2.4%

17 April 2019 05:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s chemical exports in March inched up by 0.6% year on year to yen (Y) 791bn ($7bn), but overall shipments abroad fell for the fourth straight month on weak demand from China, official data showed on Wednesday.
Overall exports for the month fell by 2.4% year on year to Y7.20tr, while imports were up by 1.1% at Y6.67tr, according to Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

China economy posts 6.4% year-on-year Q1 growth

17 April 2019 05:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China posted an annualised first-quarter economic growth of 6.4%, unchanged from the previous quarter, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday.
The 6.4% growth pace was the slowest since the first quarter of 2009.

Singapore's petchem exports fall 15.1% in March, NODX down 11.7%

17 April 2019 03:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore's petrochemical exports fell by 15.1% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.36bn in March, weighing the country's overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX), official data showed on Wednesday.
The country's NODX fell by 11.7% year on year to S$13.7bn in March, reversing the 4.8% growth in February this year, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Asia MMA at 25-month low; declines to slow down on US supply woes

15 April 2019 08:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) spot prices are at their lowest in more than two years and are likely to remain under pressure on rocky regional fundamentals.
But further declines could happen at a curbed pace on external supply woes.

US MEK to face uncertainty tracking production issues, trade tensions

15 April 2019 17:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) prices will continue to face uncertainty for the remainder of 2019 as international concerns and production issues weigh on the market.

US April MEG facing upward pressure amid supply constraints

12 April 2019 22:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US monoethylene glycol (MEG) supply and demand fundamentals have become more bullish this month, with sentiment steady-to-firm.

Asia SAN market recovers on firm feedstock SM, ACN costs

11 April 2019 07:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) market recovered from recent weakness, as suppliers hiked prices or insisted on firm offers on the back of buoyant feedstock costs.

Production margins for SAN are being eroded by good performance in the styrene monomer (SM) and acrylonitrile (ACN) sectors.

INTERACTIVE: China drags down growth prospects for rest of Asia

10 April 2019 07:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s economic growth is expected to slow down further in the second quarter, before potentially rebounding in the latter half of the year, thus, remain a drag on Asia’s overall growth pace, according to analysts.
The country is the world’s second-biggest economy after the US, and Asia’s largest.
China’s GDP growth in April-June 2019 may come in lower compared with the first quarter’s 6.4%, which was slowest pace of expansion since the first quarter of 2009.

MTB legislation does not provide enough tariff relief for US chems - ACC

08 April 2019 17:43 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US' chemicals trade group the American Chemistry Council (ACC) recommends strengthening relief provided by the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Act of 2018, saying 76% of chemicals and plastics imports covered by the legislation are still impacted by Section 301 tariffs on China goods.

ExxonMobil Chemical eyes further growth opportunities in Asia

08 April 2019 03:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--ExxonMobil Chemical will continue to study growth opportunities in Singapore and the rest of Asia to further enhance its product slate, its newly appointed president Karen McKee said.
“We'll always look at opportunities in Singapore in line with the competitive advantages that we have here,” she told ICIS.

PLASTIMAGEN ‘19: Higher freight costs and China’s bullishness may be preventing Asian PET deliveries in Latin America

03 April 2019 23:28 MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Higher freight costs and China’s bullish prices of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin may be preventing deliveries of Asian resin into Latin America, sources said on the sidelines of PLASTIMAGEN MEXICO 2019.

Nikkei Japan March manufacturing PMI stays below 50

01 April 2019 07:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s manufacturing sector posted a March purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reading 49.2, up from 48.9 in the previous month but remained in contraction mode, based on a survey by Japanese media group Nikkei released on Monday.
“Latest data rounded off the worst quarterly performance in Japan’s manufacturing sector since Q2 2016,” it said in a statement.

Nikkei's South Korea March manufacturing PMI rises to 48.8

01 April 2019 06:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s manufacturing sector remained in contraction in March, although its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reading rose to 48.8 from 47.2 in February, based on a survey of manufacturers conducted by Japanese media group Nikkei.
Reduced orders in both the domestic and overseas markets were blamed for the continued weakness in the sector.

S Korea exports contracts for 4th month; March shipments down 8.2%

01 April 2019 06:17 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s exports declined for the fourth month in March, posting an 8.2% year-on-year fall to $47.1bn, partly weighed down by continued contraction in shipments to China, official data showed on Monday.
Imports for the month were also down, registering a 6.7% dip to $41.9bn, bringing the trade surplus for March to $5.2bn, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Economy (MOTIE).

China Mar factory activities rebound; PMI at 6-month high of 50.5

01 April 2019 05:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector bounced back to an expansion reading of 50.5 in March, ending three months of contraction, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.
The March PMI was the highest recorded since October 2018.

China Jan-Feb imports of most petchems fall amid trade war with US

29 March 2019 05:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's petrochemical import volumes in the first two months of 2019 have mostly registered declines partly attributable to the country's ongoing trade war with the US, official data showed.

Asia PBR under pressure near term on falling BD cost

28 March 2019 05:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polybutadiene rubber (PBR) spot prices are under pressure in the near term because of falling cost of feedstock butadiene (BD).
Spot offers for high-cis PBR have been cut to $1,550-1,600/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, down by $50/tonne from previous offers.

US PMDI prices move lower on long supply, market may be nearing a trough

27 March 2019 22:25 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US prices for polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) were assessed 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne) lower on ongoing supply length, although there are some indications that the market may be nearing a trough.

Mixed price views for April PET in Latin America

27 March 2019 21:29 HOUSTON (ICIS)--April polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pricing may hold steady in most Latin American countries, given the differing expectations and the sluggish regional demand.

Asia ABS eases after recent run-up; China buyers cautious

27 March 2019 05:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices softened after a run-up over the past weeks, as spot values in the key Chinese market declined with buyers adopting a cautious stance.
Spot deals were concluded at $1,570-1,590/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China, down from around $1,600/tonne CFR China last week.
Bids for larger parcels, however, have declined to under $1,550/tonne CFR China, market sources said.

Asia benzene declines after recent surge; China demand in focus

27 March 2019 04:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene prices weakened after a recent strong performance as market attention returned to weak Chinese demand.

Spot prices for May cargoes have declined to under $600/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea, from last week’s $640/tonne FOB Korea.

China BPA to see limited fluctuations; demand poised to falter

26 March 2019 09:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s bisphenol A (BPA) prices are expected to see limited fluctuations, with demand skewed towards softening, even as supply availability is snug.
Spot prices on 22 March averaged at $1,450/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China, down $20/tonne from a month earlier, according to ICIS data.

AFPM '19: US-China trade deal will be struck, but China will not change

25 March 2019 23:01 SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--A trade deal will be struck between the US and China, but China will not change the way it does business, author and foreign correspondent Robert Kaplan told delegates at this year’s International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
Speaking on changing geo-politics and the impacts on global petrochemical trade, he maintained that the general direction of US-China relations over the next 20 years will be “downward”.

AFPM ’19: Huntsman optimistic on US-China trade deal - CEO

25 March 2019 22:11 SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--The US-China trade dispute will likely be resolved this year, boosting consumer sentiment and the chemicals sector, the CEO of US chemicals major Huntsman said on Monday.

AFPM ’19: US MEK increase initiative emerges on tight supply, rising demand

24 March 2019 21:45 SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--Tight supply, rising values in other regions, and the pending onset of peak demand season are likely to be the reasons behind a US price increase initiative for methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), sources said on Sunday on the sidelines of this year’s International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

AFPM ’19: US-China petchems trade flows may shift even after deal - Integra

24 March 2019 21:26 SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--Petrochemical trade flows between the US and China may not normalise completely even in the event of a trade deal as China shifts more towards feedstock and energy imports, the head of a major trading company said on Sunday.

AFPM '19: Industry mulls economy worries, sustainability, oil-to-chems

24 March 2019 15:00 SAN ANTONIO (ICIS)--The chemical industry is starting one of its biggest conferences at a time of continued worries about economic growth, public backlash again plastic waste and increased interest in turning larger amounts of oil into chemicals.

China Group II base oils slump in March on weak demand

20 March 2019 03:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Group II base oils prices have slumped in March mainly because of lukewarm end-user demand, which is likely to persist in the weeks ahead.
Spot prices have been falling since November 2018, with Group II base oil grades N150 and N500 shedding 7-9% since, while Group III N100 and N150 were down 5-6% over the same period, according to ICIS data.

Singapore Feb petrochemical exports fall 6.1% on yr; NODX up 4.9%

18 March 2019 05:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s petrochemical shipments in February declined 6.1% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.26bn, contracting for the sixth consecutive month, official data showed on Monday.
The city-state’s overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX) for February, however, posted a 4.9% growth to S$13.2bn, reversing the 10.1% decline recorded in the previous month, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Japan Feb exports fall 1.2% on year; chemical shipments grow 4.6%

18 March 2019 03:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s exports declined for the third month in February, posting a 1.2% year-on-year dip to yen (Y) 6.38tr ($57bn), weighed down by a contraction in shipments to Asia, official data showed on Monday.
Its exports to Asia in February declined by 1.8% year on year to Y3.31tr, with shipments to Singapore and South Korea recording double-digit falls, according to data from Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

China VAT cuts to take effect on 1 April - Premier Li

15 March 2019 04:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will reduce its value-added tax (VAT) rates from 1 April to boost the domestic economy, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

The VAT rates for manufacturing will be lowered to 13% from 16%; while those for transportation and construction will be reduced to 9% from 10%.

China industrial output growth rate slows to decade low in Jan-Feb

14 March 2019 09:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Total outputs of industrial firms in China expanded 5.3% in January-February, the slowest pace since the 5.1% posted in January-March of 2009, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Thursday.
This is another indication of further slowdown in the world’s second biggest economy.

Asia ABS offers rise as sellers wager on renewed buying interest

14 March 2019 06:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market strengthened this week with suppliers targeting higher numbers, citing elevated feedstock costs.
Sellers are also wagering that buying momentum will subsequently increase as manufacturing activities in the key Chinese market usually kick into a higher gear in the second quarter.

China BG drops on slow demand; buyers cautious

14 March 2019 07:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The outlook of China's butyl glycol (BG) is dim amid subdued buying, with spot prices already drifted lower in tandem with domestic Chinese market.
Slow demand and recent weakness in upstream prices may continue to keep end-users at bay.

Northeast Asia ethylene prices seen down on ample supply

08 March 2019 10:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ethylene import prices in northeast Asia may remain weak next week after having slumped for a second successive week, if the prompt length in the region persists.
Any fresh losses, however, may be capped by a gradual recovery in downstream markets, unfavourable Europe-Asia arbitrage economics and the start of South Korea’s cracker turnaround period.

China unlikely to adjust fuel prices on 15 March

13 March 2019 07:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is not expected to adjust retail ceiling prices for domestic gasoline and gasoil on 15 March, as global crude futures fluctuated slightly in an ICIS pricing cycle, ICIS data showed.
As of 13 March, the average price of the crude basket that China refers to for fuel pricing, dropped by 0.07% in this pricing cycle, which indicated a theoretical markup of minus yuan (CNY) 15/tonne.

Asia benzene slips as Chinese demand flags amid high inventory

12 March 2019 05:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Weak performance in the Chinese domestic market is exerting downward pressure on Asia’s benzene prices.
Selling pressure has increased in the key China market as elevated inventories prompted some sellers to liquidate stocks.

Asia benzene adrift amid uncertainties over US-China trade talks

07 March 2019 03:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene market has been adrift since late February after some post-holiday gains, as participants await concrete announcements from the ongoing US-China trade talks.
Spot prices were hovering in the low-$600/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea levels, from under $590/tonne FOB Korea in late January.

China PVC market supported near term by improved sentiment

06 March 2019 03:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices are expected to be supported by improved sentiment following the government’s economic stimulus measures, in spite of downward pressure from continued weakness in demand.
Demand was lackluster for March-loading shipments amid uncertainties in the ongoing US-China trade negotiations.

Asia ABS market under downward pressure amid long supply

05 March 2019 06:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market is under downward pressure amid rising inventory among traders and suppliers, but offers were still being pushed up due to elevated feedstock costs.
Slow offtakes post Lunar New Year holidays have taken some sellers by surprise as they anticipated a recovery in buying momentum in March.

Asia MMA may extend falls; prices at 2-year low on supply glut

05 March 2019 06:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) spot prices are poised to extend losses in the short term, after hitting close to a two-year low in early March, due to a supply overhang.
Spot values have tumbled by around 25% from late August 2018, ICIS data showed.

China targets slower GDP growth of 6.0-6.5% in 2019

05 March 2019 02:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is targeting to achieve a growth of 6.0-6.5% this year, down from the 6.6% pace recorded in 2018, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.
Its GDP growth last year was the lowest in 28 years.

China’s domestic MPG-PGI prices to fall on muted demand

01 March 2019 05:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic prices of industrial grade monopropylene glycol (MPG-PGI) look set to falter as demand continues to stay weak, reversing a brief uptick seen in the previous week.

Trade for PGI produced via the dimethyl carbonate (DMC) processes fell back this week to around yuan (CNY) 8,000/tonne ($1,194/tonne) ex-tank China as at 28 February, market sources said.

South Korea February exports fall 11.1%; imports down 12.6%

01 March 2019 03:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s exports posted a double-digit decline in February, extending the contraction in January, amid an economic slowdown in China, its key export market.
February exports fell 11.1% year on year, while imports declined by a steeper 12.6%, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.1bn, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) said on Friday.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's Japan manufacturing PMI falls to 32-month low of 48.9

01 March 2019 03:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Japan fell to 48.9 in February from 50.3 in January, weighed by deteriorating demand conditions and overseas orders, the Japanese media firm said on Friday.
The February reading marks the first contraction in the Japanese manufacturing economy since August 2016.

INTERACTIVE: Caixin's China Feb manufacturing PMI rises to 49.9

01 March 2019 02:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Caixin’s general manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China picked up to a three-month high of 49.9 in February from 48.3 in January, pointing to an easing of contraction in business activity.
The number has stayed below the expansion threshold of 50 for the third straight month.

INTERACTIVE: China official PMI shrinks for third straight month to 49.2

28 February 2019 02:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) declined by 0.3 points from January to 49.2 in February, the lowest since March 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.

Asian PTA to find support from healthy market fundamentals

26 February 2019 06:04 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) prices are likely to be supported in the near term, as the market heads into the traditional peak demand season.
In the key China market, spot PTA import prices have been relatively stable at around $840-865/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China Main Ports since end-January, according to ICIS data.

INSIGHT: US trade truce should boost China optimism

25 February 2019 17:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The extension of a 90-day truce in the trade dispute between the US and China should boost optimism in the Asian country and remove some of the gloom surrounding its outlook.
Had the deadline transpired, the US would have imposed a 25% tariff on $200bn worth of Chinese imports, up from the 10% tariff it imposed on the same goods in September.

Trump delays tariffs on China; to meet Xi Jinping to finalise trade deal

25 February 2019 02:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump late on Sunday said that he will delay the increase in tariffs against China and plans to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping to settle a final trade deal.
"I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues," Trump wrote on Twitter.

China MEG demand may improve; rising inventory to cap gains

22 February 2019 07:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for monoethylene glycol (MEG) in China may improve in March, auguring firmer prices, but gains are likely to be capped by high inventory, which is currently at near four-year high and rising.
Weaker supply-demand balance and high inventories in the current month had been expected due to the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China on 4-10 February.

Asia MMA to head south after hitting 22-month lows on ample supply

21 February 2019 08:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Prices of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in Asia would trend lower after falling to 22-month lows, as the market is undermined by soft regional demand and ample cargo availability.
Supply is without doubt outstripping demand despite a slew of routine maintenance works and production cuts both in Asia and the Middle East.

China's domestic MPG-PGI prices to increase on restocking activity

21 February 2019 05:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's domestic prices of industrial-grade propylene glycol (PGI) are expected to strengthen on the back of rising demand in post-Lunar New Year.
For PGI produced via the dimethyl carbonate (DMC) process, trade was taking place at Chinese yuan (CNY) 8,200-8,400/tonne EXT (ex-tank) China as of 21 February, another local trader said.

Asia ABS suppliers hike offers amid US-China trade talks

21 February 2019 05:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) suppliers in Asia raised their offers post-Lunar New Year holidays amid optimism over the ongoing US-China trade negotiations.
Players expect a stronger market in March and April, as manufacturing activities in the key China market usually kick into higher gear after a slow first quarter.

China PP prices to rise on reduced supply, optimism over US-China trade talks

21 February 2019 05:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) prices are set to edge higher following a recent rebound, as the market is revved by depleting domestic inventory and growing demand.
Production rates of downstream plants are high, prompting end-users to seek PP cargoes in the spot market.

Asia PBR to track BD in March; sluggish demand to temper gains

20 February 2019 04:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s high-cis polybutadiene rubber (PBR) prices may face upward pressure in March from the rebound in feedstock butadiene (BD) market, but sluggish demand and cheaper deep-sea product may temper any gains.
On 14 February, high-cis PBR prices were assessed at $1,550/tonne CFR NE Asia, down by $50/tonne from the previous week, according to ICIS data.

INTERACTIVE: Japan January chemical exports fall 4.2% year on year

20 February 2019 03:47 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s chemical exports in January fell by 4.2% year on year to yen (Y) 668bn ($6bn), with the country's overall shipments abroad posting their biggest decline in more than two years, provisional official data showed on Wednesday.
Its exports of organic chemicals fell by 5.6% year on year in January, while shipments of plastic materials were down by 13.9%, Ministry of Finance data showed.

Thailand's PTTGC Q4 net profit falls 58%; sales up 9%

19 February 2019 05:41 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--PTT Global Chemical’s fourth-quarter net profit slumped year on year on heavy stock losses brought about by the plunge in crude oil prices, the Thai producer said.
The company booked Thai baht (Bt) 6.52bn in stock loss in the October to December 2018, compared with a gain of Bt2.49bn in the previous corresponding period, it said in a filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) on 18 February.

Chinese TiO2 export prices poised to firm on currency headwinds

19 February 2019 04:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese titanium dioxide (TiO2) export prices look poised to firm as producers hike offers amid a strengthening Chinese yuan against the US dollar in their efforts to maintain margins.
Chinese TiO2 major Lomon Billions’ announced intentions to hike export prices by $100/tonne earlier in February, citing firmer upstream costs.

Asia benzene buoyed by China re-stocking, trade talks optimism

19 February 2019 03:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's benzene market could be further supported by re-stocking activity in China and optimism over the outcome of ongoing US-China trade talks, amid buoyant crude oil futures.
Some players, however, remained cautious as the key downstream styrene monomer (SM) sector will head for a relatively heavy maintenance shutdown from March to May. This would result in more benzene becoming available in the market.

Singapore economy to slow further in 2019 after expanding 3.2% last year

15 February 2019 07:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s economy is expected to cool further in 2019, with marked decelerations in its manufacturing sector and petrochemical exports pointing to a global economic slowdown.
The country’s economy grew by 3.2% year on year in 2018, lower than the 3.9% expansion seen in 2017, the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on Friday.

China January exports rise 9.1% on year; imports fall 1.5%

14 February 2019 08:52 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s overall exports in January increased by 9.1% year on year to $217.6bn, reversing the contraction recorded in December 2018, according to preliminary government data released on Thursday.
Imports, on the other hand, declined for the second straight month, dipping by 1.5% year in January to $178.4bn.

Asian PX prices to firm on receding supply; backwardation in sight

13 February 2019 05:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian paraxylene (PX) prices will be buttressed by healthy market fundamentals going forward, as the pool of supply is seen decreasing as a legion of PX units will undergo maintenance works.
Heading into the second quarter of the year, current balanced-to-long supply of PX will gradually tighten amid the traditional peak demand season in the key China markets.

Asia SAN market quiet post-Lunar New Year holiday

13 February 2019 03:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Activity in the Asian styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) market remained muted after the Lunar New Year holidays, with players mostly on the sidelines monitoring the market.
Trade is expected to kick off in earnest next week. Suppliers have yet to quote offers with most customers still out of the market.

Asia ABS steady post holidays, outlook uncertain

12 February 2019 03:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The outlook for Asia's acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market remained uncertain although prices were steady after participants returned to the market after the Lunar New Year holidays last week.
The ongoing trade talk between the US and China ahead of the truce deadline on 1 March remained very much in focus for ABS players.

Asia BD may rebound near term on China demand post-holiday

11 February 2019 05:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butadiene (BD) spot prices may rebound soon because of heightened buying interest from China post-holiday.
On 8 February, spot prices were flat at $1,100/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE) Asia, according to ICIS data, with the key markets, including China and Taiwan, shut for a full week for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Asia benzene up on trade talks optimism; future demand buoyant

08 February 2019 06:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia benzene was firm this week on the back of optimism over the ongoing trade talks between the US and China, even though overnight news suggests that serious issues remain unresolved.
The buying interest continues to be prevalent for March and April cargoes as some people expect demand to be buoyant post-holiday, though a few players are cautious as well.

Asia petchem shares sharply lower on US-China trade war concerns

08 February 2019 02:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemical shares fell sharply on Friday after US President Donald Trump said he would not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the 1 March deadline, compounding investors’ worries that a trade deal may not be reached in time.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also on Thursday said there is still a “pretty sizable distance to go” in China trade talks.

Japan’s Asahi Kasei Q3 net profit falls 47.5% as ACN prices plunge

07 February 2019 05:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asahi Kasei’s December-quarter net profit slumped year on year as acrylonitrile’s (ACN) market prices plunged during the period, the Japanese producer said on Thursday.
The company cited that China’s economic slowdown has “began affecting certain products for automotive and smartphone applications, although the impact was limited”.
China is in the throes of a trade war with the US since early July last year.

S Korea Jan exports fall 5.8% on year; petchem shipments down 5.3%

01 February 2019 08:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s overall exports in January declined by 5.8% year on year to $46.4bn, with petrochemical shipments falling 5.3% to $4.0bn, official data showed on Friday.
Exports to major market, China, slumped 19.1% year on year to $10.8bn, according to South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

Asia acetic acid struggles to find support from post-holiday demand

01 February 2019 05:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acetic acid prices may struggle to find support amid stable-to-firm domestic prices in China on the back of restocking activities, the recent spate of plant outages which did little to tighten the market, and an anticipated demand recovery post-Lunar New Year.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's Taiwan Jan manufacturing PMI falls to 47.7

01 February 2019 04:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Taiwan fell to 47.5 in January from 47.7 in December as production levels continued to fall amid weak external demand, the Japanese media group said on Friday.
January reading marks a 40-month low for the PMI.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's S Korea Jan manufacturing PMI falls to 48.3

01 February 2019 04:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for South Korea fell to 48.3 in January from 49.8 in December, marking the steepest downturn in manufacturing business conditions since November 2016.

INTERACTIVE: Nikkei's Japan manufacturing PMI falls to 50.3

01 February 2019 03:11 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Nikkei's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for Japan fell to 50.4 in January from 52.6 in December, weighed by a decline in production levels and export orders, the Japanese media firm said on Friday.

INTERACTIVE: Caixin's China manufacturing PMI falls to 48.3 in Jan

01 February 2019 02:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Caixin's general manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China fell to 48.3 in January from 49.7 in December as production levels declined amid muted demand conditions, the Chinese media group said on Friday.
Caixin's January reading is the lowest since February 2016.

Asia petrochemical trades slacken ahead of Lunar New Year holiday

30 January 2019 06:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Petrochemical trades in Asia have slackened in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday as manufacturing in the key China market slows down, with a number of downstream facilities coming off stream.
Amid a general demand weakness in China, some domestic factories could take time to resume production post-holiday, market sources said.

Japan eyes weak January exports on global trade tensions

29 January 2019 04:02 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan expects its January exports to be weak because of the effects of the US-China trade war, but its overall economy is expected to continue recovering, a report by the Japanese Cabinet Office showed on Tuesday.
In its monthly economic report, the Cabinet Office said that the country’s “exports are in a weak tone”.

China steps up measures to stimulate sagging economy

25 January 2019 05:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has stepped up efforts to stimulate its economy, to prevent any sudden and sharp slowdown in 2019 amid its trade war with the US, with more measures expected to be announced during the course of the year.
Growth in the world’s second-largest economy is projected to slow down further to 6.0%-6.5% this year, after hitting a 28-year low of 6.6% in 2018, as it reels from the wide-ranging repercussions of the ongoing US-China trade spat and amid mounting debts.

China delays release of phenol ADD probe prelim results to March

23 January 2019 03:28 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China may have delayed releasing the preliminary results of its anti-dumping duty (ADD) investigation on phenol imports from five origins, including the US, to March – almost a full year since the probe began.

The Chinese authorities were initially largely expected to come up with preliminary findings six months after the probe on phenol imports from the US, EU, South Korea, Japan and Thailand was launched on 26 March 2018.

China 2018 economic growth slows to 6.6%, a 28-year low

21 January 2019 04:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s economy registered a full-year 2018 growth of 6.6%, the lowest recorded in 28 years, official data showed on Monday.
In the fourth-quarter of last year, growth in the world’s second-biggest economy, weakened to 6.4%, the slowest pace of expansion since the first quarter of 2009, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Asia SAN trades pick up on pre-Lunar New Year holiday re-stocking

16 January 2019 04:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) trades have picked up ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in early February, with buyers keen on stocking up on resins as prices may have bottomed out.
Offers this week stood at $1,450-1,600/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China.

Asia benzene largely steady pre-holiday; China trades to slow down

16 January 2019 05:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene market was largely stable this week ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in early February, with trades expected to taper off in the key China market.
Benzene has been trading this week at a narrow range - around the mid-$500/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea levels - after some initial optimism over the US-China trade talks in Beijing on 7-9 January.

Asia PBR may extend gains on rising BD cost, restocking

15 January 2019 04:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polybutadiene rubber (PBR) prices are facing upward pressure from rising cost of feedstock butadiene (BD) cost and amid re-stocking activities ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.
Spot offers for high-cis PBR were revised up to $1,700-1,800/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE) and southeast (SE) Asia, market sources said.

China December exports shrink 4.4% on year; imports down 7.6%

14 January 2019 08:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s overall exports in December decreased by 4.4% year on year to $221.3bn, according to preliminary government data released on Monday.
Monthly exports of the world’s second-biggest economy last posted a contraction in March 2018.

OUTLOOK ’19: China benzene rebound to be capped by uncertainties

10 January 2019 05:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s benzene prices are expected to rebound this year as demand will outpace output growth, but gains will be likely capped by uncertainties in the upstream crude market amid weakening macroeconomic fundamentals.
Demand in the first quarter will be boosted as downstream styrene monomer (SM) plants are expected to restart in January, which will boost benzene consumption by at least 5,000 tonnes per month.

Global economic growth to slow to 2.9% in 2019 – World Bank

09 January 2019 06:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Global economic growth this year is projected to slow to 2.9% from 3.0% in 2018, based on the revised projections of the World Bank released late on Tuesday.
The new forecasts contained in the multinational institution’s January 2019 Global Economic Prospects report were down from its June 2018 growth projections of 3.1% for 2018 and 3.0% for 2019.

Asia PX higher on bullish sentiment, optimism over US-China trade talks

09 January 2019 04:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot discussions for paraxylene (PX) in Asia were higher early on Wednesday, driven by overnight crude gains and market optimism over the ongoing China-US trade talks.
For March shipments, discussions were at $1,030-1,050/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Taiwan/China Main Ports, compared with a deal done at $1,004/tonne CFR Taiwan/China Main Ports on 8 January.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia's polycarbonate prices may see limited upsurge potential

09 January 2019 03:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polycarbonate (PC) prices are expected to take on a soft trend in the first quarter at least, with ample supply expected to keep a lid on any potential upsurge, market sources said.
Spot prices of PC are poised to take cues from movements in upstream raw material bisphenol A (BPA) markets, particularly in China.

Asia PS market upbeat despite volatile SM amid healthy demand

09 January 2019 03:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polystyrene (PS) market sentiment is upbeat in the near term despite volatility in feedstock prices, as demand stays buoyant while supply is tight.
In the week ended 4 January, spot prices of general purpose PS (GPPS) were assessed at $1,230-1,240/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China/Hong Kong, down by $10/tonne from the previous week, ICIS data showed.

China, US extend trade talks for one day more

09 January 2019 02:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The China-US vice-ministerial-level trade talks have been extended to another day on Wednesday, which analysts believe a sign of optimism.
Chinese media coverages said that talks continued to late evening on Tuesday and they agreed to carry on to an unscheduled third day trying to strike a resolution on the dispute.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia PTA supply balanced to tight amid growing demand

08 January 2019 08:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) supply is likely to remain largely balanced to tight in 2019 as a result of limited capacity expansion, while demand is expected to continue growing.
China will remain the key demand growth driver for Asia, followed by India.

Asia BD to track China market gains; demand to weaken toward Feb

08 January 2019 06:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butadiene (BD) spot prices may track recent gains in China’s domestic market, but demand is expected to weaken ahead of the Lunar New Year in early February.
China’s buying interest for January import cargoes picked up following recent spike in domestic prices on the back of limited supply, market sources said.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia MEG under pressure from China economic slowdown

08 January 2019 05:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices are expected to be weighed down in the first half by an economic slowdown in key China market, along with slower growth in downstream polyester sectors.
Unfavourable macroeconomic conditions will likely lead to weakness in downstream demand growth.

Asia benzene extends rebound on buoyant crude, US-China talks

08 January 2019 05:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene market firmed this week in a refreshing change after several months of decline, on hopes of a resolution to the US-China trade war in the near term.
Spot prices are continuing their rebound, after strengthening toward the mid-$550/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea levels late last week, backed by gains in upstream crude market.

OUTLOOK ’19: China PO under pressure on long supply, sluggish demand

21 December 2018 08:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China propylene oxide (PO) prices may stay capped in 2019, unless demand from key application polyols could pick up sufficiently to absorb burgeoning supplies.
PO supplies in Asia are set to grow in 2019, with several new plants coming on stream.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia SBR stable to soft in Q1 amid US-China trade war

21 December 2018 04:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices are likely to be stable or soft in the first quarter of 2019 if tensions in the US-China trade war failed to ease.
Market players were cautious amid uncertainties following the 90-day trade war truce announced on 1 December between the two economic giants, which will prevent the anticipated spike in US tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports to 25% from the current 10%.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia naphtha to draw support from stable petchem demand

21 December 2018 03:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s naphtha market is envisaged to draw support from healthy regional demand for petrochemical production, which might outpace supply despite expectations of ample western arbitrage cargo flows.
Spot naphtha prices have been on a rollercoaster, fluctuating heavily in the fourth quarter of the year due to volatility in upstream global crude oil futures markets.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia BD may rise ahead of Lunar New Year holidays

21 December 2018 02:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia butadiene (BD) prices may rise in January ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays on re-stocking although the price uptrend may fizzle out unless US-China trade war tensions ease or there is positive news during this period.

China to carry on reforms & opening-up - President Xi

18 December 2018 08:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will not press on the brakes for reforms and the opening up of the country, in tandem with the developments of the society and the changing of times, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.
In a keynote speech at a conference in Beijing that celebrates the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, Xi said that the policy is a great awakening of the Chinese Community Party (CPC) and a great revolution in China’s development history.

Japan cuts GDP growth forecasts amid US-China trade war concerns

18 December 2018 03:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan has lowered its economic growth forecast to 0.9% for the year ending 31 March 2019, down from the previous estimate of 1.5%, official data showed on Tuesday.
The impact of the trade war between the US and China on the world economy will remain a downside risk for growth, Japan’s Cabinet Office said in a statement.

China to halt added tax on US cars and parts for three months

17 December 2018 10:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will suspend the additional tax imposed on US-made cars and auto parts for three months from 1 January 2019 as part of the two economic giants’ trade war truce, the Chinese Ministry of Finance said.
A total of 211 items are included in the list, including 144 US cars and auto parts, and 67 other auto parts.

Asia PO market sentiment improves on China plant shutdown

14 December 2018 04:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Recent declines in Asian import prices of propylene oxide (PO) look set to ease, as domestic yuan-denominated prices in China started to rebound this week with tighter prompt supplies.
But upside potential may be capped, as long as downstream demand remains structurally weak.

Asia melamine on freewheel fall on sluggish demand, supply deluge

14 December 2018 02:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's melamine prices may further diminish in a market, already denuded of healthy demand, as producers, keen to keep inventories low on their books at year-end, enthuse to sell off their stocks.
It is not a spur of the moment for sellers to offer their inventories as the fiscal year in China, the world's second-largest economy after the US, ends in December. The timing, however, coincides with shrinking demand for melamine used largely for plywood, tableware and adhesive.

Asia PMDI hits fresh low on poor buying interest, demand seen weak

12 December 2018 04:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polymeric di-p-phenylene isocyanate (PMDI) prices may hit yet another fresh 2-year low as offers are declining because sellers want to elicit buying interest.
However, demand may not recover due to the lingering US-China trade dispute.

Developing Asia faces downside risks from US-China trade war - ADB

12 December 2018 04:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Economies in developing Asia and the Pacific are still forecast to expand at an annual rate of 6.0% this year and 5.8% in 2019, with downside risks from the US-China trade war, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday.
“The truce on trade tariffs agreed by the United States (US) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is very welcome but the unresolved conflict remains the main downside risk to economic prospects in the region,” said ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada in a statement.

China LLDPE futures fall 1.8% on bearish sentiment

11 December 2018 08:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) futures fell by 1.8% on Tuesday on bearish sentiment amid uncertainty over the US-China trade war.
May 2019 LLDPE futures, the most actively traded contract at the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), closed at yuan (CNY) 8,355/tonne ($1,213/tonne), down by CNY150/tonne from the previous day's settlement.

Asia EDC at 4-year highs on tight spot supply, changing trade flows

11 December 2018 04:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ethylene dichloride (EDC) prices in Asia are at their highest in four years, and prices may remain supported into the first quarter of 2019 on continued tightness in spot supply.
EDC’s average spot prices have more than doubled to $395/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia in the week ended 7 December from $167.50/tonne CFR NE Asia in the week ended 5 January 2018, according to ICIS data.

Northeast Asia ethylene tumbles on ample December supply

07 December 2018 10:48 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Northeast Asia’s ethylene prices fell to levels last seen in September 2015 on year-end destocking activity by producers, shutdowns at several regional downstream plants and sluggish polyethylene (PE) sales.
Spot deals were done at $840-880/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia for end December and January-arrival cargoes during the week. The transacted prices are down from the weekly assessment of $950/tonne CFR NE Asia on 30 November.

Asia benzene uptick fizzles out; supply to lengthen

06 December 2018 04:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene market gains fizzled out midweek as market participants shifted back their focus on the expected lengthening of regional supply.
Spot prices have retreated to around $660/tonne CFR (costs & freight) China on Thursday, down from deals concluded at $670-675/tonne CFR China in the first half of the week.

SE Asia NBR faces pressure from sluggish demand, falling BD, ACN

06 December 2018 06:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) prices continued to face downward pressure from sluggish demand and losses in feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene (BD) markets.
“Demand is slow as buyers are cautious and unwilling to build up their inventories in the current weak market sentiment as prices keep falling,” a trader said.

Asia BD market to stay weak on sluggish demand, uncertain outlook

05 December 2018 05:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butadiene (BD) spot prices were largely steady and may stay weak in the near term due to sluggish demand, despite the US-China trade war truce that cheered financial and commodities markets at the start of the week.
Spot offers for January cargoes at $1,150-1,200/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE) Asia have found limited interest, according to market sources.

China optimistic of reaching trade deal with US within 90 days

05 December 2018 03:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is optimistic about hammering out a deal with the US within 90 days, to resolve the trade war between the two economic giants.
“The economic and trade teams of the two sides will actively promote the consultation based on a clear timetable and road map in 90 days,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

INSIGHT: A change of heart from the US, some movement from China provide trade dispute relief

03 December 2018 17:23 LONDON (ICIS)--There is a pause but the spectre of the US-China trade dispute still hangs over the global economy and chemicals trade.

China domestic PE prices rebound on US-China trade war truce

03 December 2018 08:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic polyethylene (PE) prices rebounded on Monday from their lowest levels in more than one year, following a pause in the escalation of the US-China trade war.
On 3 December, domestic linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) prices in east China were assessed at yuan (CNY) 9,250/tonne ($1,333/tonne), up by CNY100/tonne from 30 November, according to ICIS data.

China PP futures surge 3.12% on China-US trade war ceasefire

03 December 2018 09:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) futures soared by 3.12% on Monday as market participants welcomed the 90-day truce on the US-China trade war.
The January 2019 PP contract, the most actively traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), closed at Chinese yuan (CNY) 8,982/tonne ($1,294/tonne), up by CNY272/tonne from the settlement on 30 November.

Asia petrochemical shares, crude surge on US-China trade war pause

03 December 2018 04:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of petrochemical companies in Asia surged on Monday, along with international crude oil prices, as investors cheered the 90-day truce on the US-China trade war.
US President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping that Washington will not raise tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% from 1 January 2019.

China polymer markets get lift from US-China trade war truce

03 December 2018 04:01 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polymer prices in the spot and futures markets gained on Monday following a ceasefire deal on the US-China trade war.
Spot offers for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are up by CNY200-300/tonne ($29-43/tonne) on Monday morning.

Asia SAN extends losses on weak China demand

29 November 2018 06:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) prices extended losses this week with demand in the key Chinese market remaining weak.
Buying interest remained tepid with end-users mostly on the sidelines.
Spot prices slipped this week to the low-$1,300/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China levels, from $1,370-1,420/tonne CFR China last week, ICIS data showed.

Asia ABS market to stay weak on tepid demand

29 November 2018 03:57 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market has remained weak with prices drifting lower in the Chinese spot market, and regional buying interest likely to stay tepid in the near term.
Spot prices of some ABS brands declined this week to $1,400/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, down from around $2,075/tonne CFR NE Asia in June, ICIS data showed.

China PP import prices hit lowest since mid-October 2017

28 November 2018 08:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) import prices hit their lowest in more than one year amid bearish sentiment, after declining continuously for over a month.
On Wednesday, deals for PP yarn and injection grades were done at $1,020/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China, and while block co-polymer was concluded at $1,100/tonne CFR China.
Current prices are at their lowest since mid-October 2017.

GPCA ’18: GCC polymer exports to grow amid US-China trade war

27 November 2018 09:15 DUBAI (ICIS)--Polymers exports of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are set to increase amid the US-China trade war.
China will need to look to other producers for imports in order to meet growing demand, with the GCC well positioned to fill the void following the 25% additional import tariffs imposed on most US polymers.

GPCA ’18: Southeast, south Asia on the radar of US PE sellers

27 November 2018 07:41 DUBAI (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) markets in southeast and south Asia will be on the radar of US producers as they prepare to export greater volumes in 2019, industry sources said.
Speaking to ICIS at the sidelines of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Forum currently underway in Dubai, industry sources said that US producers would have to export to Asian markets outside of China, given that the latter was no longer viable owing to the 25% tariffs imposed on US-origin PE.

Asia PX market fundamentals weak; spread over naphtha to narrow

27 November 2018 06:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s paraxylene (PX) spot prices may weaken further as supply has increased amid weak downstream demand, and cause their spread over feedstock naphtha to narrow.
Regional PX prices have been on a downtrend due to a steep decline in the upstream crude and naphtha markets.

GPCA '18: Trade war to hit global demand for chemicals

26 November 2018 10:36 DUBAI (ICIS)--Trade protectionist barriers recently built up will hit global demand for chemicals as they trigger changes in the flows of goods, industry executives said on Monday.
Amid the escalating US-China trade war, the chemical industry’s demand pattern will change in the near term, said Ahmad Al Saleh, business director for ethylene glycol at Kuwaiti producer EQUATE.

Asia ethylene gains; outlook cautious on weak downstream markets

23 November 2018 09:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ethylene price gains in Asia were capped by bearish upstream and downstream indicators this week, with supply expected to increase amid year-end destocking and sluggish downstream conditions.
Spot deals and discussions were mostly at $1,020/tonne to the mid-1,000s/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia for December-arrival cargoes, up from the weekly assessment of $1,022.50/tonne CFR NE Asia on 16 November.

Asia petrochemical markets slump on faltering demand

23 November 2018 06:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s petrochemical markets are expected to remain soft through to the end of the year, in view of sharp declines in crude oil prices, as deteriorating global economic outlook amid the US-China trade war is depressing downstream demand.
Spot prices of key petrochemicals such as ethylene, propylene, methanol, benzene, toluene and styrene monomer (SM) have been on a general downtrend over the last month.

Asia NBR under downward pressure amid bearish sentiment

23 November 2018 05:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) market is facing further downward pressure because of prevailing bearish market sentiment and a weak global economic outlook.
Import prices in the key markets of China and India declined by $25/tonne week on week, according to ICIS data.

China PE import prices plunge on crude slump, poor demand

23 November 2018 04:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polyethylene (PE) import prices plunged this week, dragged down by tumbling upstream crude value amid the year-end lull in consumption.
Market players are bearish on the market, with supply expected to grow further as overseas suppliers may start de-stocking cargoes as 2018 draws to a close.

China PP market bearish amid C3 slump, ample supply

22 November 2018 08:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s spot polypropylene (PP) prices have continued to fall due to tumbling values in feedstock propylene (C3) and upstream crude markets, amid ample supply.
In the week ended 16 November, PP flat yarn were assessed at Chinese yuan (CNY) 9,850-10,250/tonne ex-warehouse (EXWH) east China, down 8.6% from 19 October, according to ICIS data.
Import prices of the material have shed 6.9% over the same period to $1,140-1,170/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China.

Singapore Q3 GDP growth weakens to 2.2%; expects slowdown in 2019

22 November 2018 05:53 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s economic growth slowed to 2.2% in July-September 2018 on an annualised basis, from a revised growth rate of 4.1% in the preceding quarter, official data showed on Thursday.
Manufacturing posted a 3.5% growth, a marked slowdown from the 10.7% expansion in the previous quarter; while the contraction in the construction sector moderated to 2.3% from 4.2%, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement.

China domestic PE prices slump on oversupply, poor demand

21 November 2018 06:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s spot domestic polyethylene (PE) prices have slumped since October and may remain bearish amid ample supply and lukewarm demand.
On 20 November, low density polyethylene (LDPE) prices in east China fell to their lowest in more than two years at yuan (CNY) 9,250/tonne ($1,333/tonne) EXWH (ex-warehouse). These levels were last seen on 31 May 2016, according to ICIS data.
High density polyethylene blow moulding (HDPE BM) prices in east China were assessed at CNY9,900/tonne EXWH, hitting their lowest level since 31 July 2017.

INSIGHT: Raging US-China trade war scuttles APEC joint communique

19 November 2018 11:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--No resolution to the US-China trade war seems imminent as US vice president Mike Pence and China President Xi Jinping sparred at the recently concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

New US MDI capacity may alter trade flows, supply-demand balances

16 November 2018 18:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Additional capacity for methyl di-p phenylene isocyanate (MDI) in the US could alter trade flows and supply-and-demand balances in the coming years.

US-China trade war unlikely to end following G20 summit – ACC

16 November 2018 18:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping will talk on the margins of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 30 November, but it is unlikely the meeting will end the US-China trade war, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday.

More containers still a need in US polymer supply chain - chem execs

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polymer producers may work around the imposition of new tariffs from the US-China trade war, but finding enough shipping containers still remains one of their major logistical problems.

China SBR downtrend may continue on cheaper NR, weak demand

15 November 2018 03:49 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s spot styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) import prices are under downward pressure amid an oversupply of rival product, natural rubber (NR), and weak demand due to declining vehicle sales in the country.
On 14 November, non-oil grade 1502 SBR prices fell to $1,475/tonne CIF (cost, freight & insurance) China, down by $25/tonne from the previous week, ICIS data showed.

APLA '18: US-China tariff tiff could send some additional material to Latin America

12 November 2018 23:23 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--The threat of recently imposed and currently proposed tariffs will affect the margins of the US economy, but may also reroute some trade flows to Latin America, ICIS consultant James Ray said at a roundtable at the Latin America Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

APLA ’18: US-China trade tensions may be resolved in 2019 — Consultant

12 November 2018 22:48 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--Trade tensions between the US and China may begin to be resolved by 2019, Bob Bauman, President of Polymer Consulting International told delegates at this year’s annual meeting of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA).

APLA ’18: Braskem Idesa explores US ethane imports for Ethylene XXI - CEO

12 November 2018 19:04 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--Braskem Idesa is exploring US ethane imports for its Ethylene XXI petrochemicals complex in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, its CEO said on Monday.

APLA '18: Brazil, South America see greater imports of US PE - Braskem

11 November 2018 21:48 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--Brazil and other countries in South America are seeing greater volumes of polyethylene (PE) arriving from the US, a Braskem executive said on Sunday.

APLA '18: US PVC set for growth in 2019 despite tariff headwinds

11 November 2018 20:00 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--Demand growth for US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will continue into 2019 in tandem with organic US economic growth and construction activity despite the tariff threats that have worried market participants, a plastics consultant said on Sunday.

APLA ’18: US-China trade war spurs demand concerns for basic chemicals - Oxiquim

11 November 2018 19:42 CANCUN, Mexico (ICIS)--While direct impacts from the US-China trade battle have been minimal to Oxiquim, there is concern about the wider impact on basic chemicals demand, a company official said on Sunday.

APLA ’18: US-China trade tensions may be resolved in 2019 — Consultant

Trade tensions between the US and China may begin to be resolved by 2019, Bob Bauman, President of Polymer Consulting International told delegates at this year’s annual meeting of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA).

China LLDPE futures fall 1.5% on weak demand concerns

12 November 2018 08:30 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) futures fell by 1.5% on Monday on concerns about weak demand, industry sources said.

The January 2019 LLDPE futures, the most actively traded contract at the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), closed at yuan (CNY) 8,860/tonne ($1,273/tonne), down by CNY135/tonne from the settlement on 9 November.

China gets $58bn deals from import expo; consumption stays strong

12 November 2018 07:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has generated deals worth $57.8bn from its first-ever import expo, while consumption in the world’s second-biggest economy still proved to be strong as a single-day shopping spree in the country registered record sales.

The five-day China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai which closed on 10 November has attracted more than 3,600 companies from 130 countries and regions keen on tapping the Chinese market.

Asia PE markets soften on supply pressure, thin demand

9 November 2018 11:04 am SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polyethylene (PE) spot import prices in China and southeast Asia largely softened in the week, with lower offers for December-arrival cargoes, amid weak sentiment.
Most suppliers were under pressure to sell, cutting their offers to move cargoes amid thin buying appetite.

China NBR imports to weaken further on poor auto sales, final ADDs

09 November 2018 03:50 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) imports are likely to slow down further amid weakness in downstream automotive sector, and as its five-year antidumping duties (ADDs) on South Korean and Japanese material take effect.
On 8 November, spot prices fell to $2,150-2,250/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) China, down by $100/tonne from the previous week, ICIS data showed.
Spot prices have shed about 10% from early October because of weak demand.

Canada Nutrien bulks up crop protection inventory in light of tariff impacts

06 November 2018 21:57 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Bracing for the impacts coming to crop protection products as result of China and US tariff dispute, Nutrien has bulked up its inventory levels and is planning to rely more on its proprietary product segment as a hedge, the Canadian fertilizer titan said on Tuesday.

China tariffs yet to affect US PE sales; impacts possible in 2019 - Westlake

06 November 2018 20:28 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Tariffs on US polyethylene (PE) products implemented by China have not yet had a major impact on sales, but volumes could be impacted in 2019 if trade tensions do not ease, Westlake Chemical executives said on Tuesday.

DowDuPont sees widespread China pessimism as a bit 'overblown' - execs

01 November 2018 20:40 NEW YORK (ICIS)--Pessimism on the outlook for China is somewhat overdone, senior executives at US-based DowDuPont said on Thursday.

DowDuPont expects no large effect from US, China tariffs in Q4

01 November 2018 19:34 HOUSTON (ICIS)--DowDuPont does not expect to suffer any significant effects during the fourth quarter from the tariffs that China and the US are imposing on each other, the chief financial officer said on Thursday.

US manufacturing continues expanding in Oct but at slower rate

01 November 2018 15:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US manufacturing activity expanded for the 26th consecutive month in October, although at a slower rate compared with September amid continued concerns regarding US and China tariffs, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) said on Thursday.

Asia ABS slumps on poor demand, falling feedstock prices

01 November 2018 04:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market slumped again this week as poor demand persisted in the key Chinese market.
Lower prices failed to revive buying interest, with buyers expecting even lower prices in the near term.

INTERACTIVE: Caixin's Oct China manufacturing PMI inches up to 50.1

01 November 2018 03:36 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Caixin's general manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China inched up to 50.1 in October from 50.0 in September, supported by higher export orders, the Chinese private media group said on Thursday.
China’s official October manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest in more than two years at 50.2.

Trade flows rebalance after US-China tariffs - LyondellBasell executive

30 October 2018 20:36 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Global markets have thus far rerouted the flow of US and Chinese products amid the ongoing trade war between the two countries, a LyondellBasell executive said on Tuesday.

China's TiO2 exports demand plunge on US tariffs

30 October 2018 06:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for Chinese titanium dioxide (TiO2) has waned in light of the ongoing US-China trade war, adding pressure on export prices. According to market players’ feedback, the US was historically the second biggest export market for Chinese TiO2 materials, with the bulk of these pigments being chloride-based.

US LPG market 'moving along' despite tariff concerns - Phillips 66

26 October 2018 22:18 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Though questions persist around the effects that tariffs are having on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) markets, Phillips 66 said business is moving along despite the US-China trade war.

US Sherwin-Williams expects higher Q4 net sales despite headwinds

25 October 2018 22:26 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Sherwin-Williams’ fourth-quarter consolidated net sales are expected to increase by a mid single-digit percentage year on year despite some headwinds, the US-based coatings manufacturer said on Thursday.

US PolyOne warns on abrupt demand slowdown, raw material costs, tariffs

24 October 2018 16:48 HOUSTON (ICIS)--PolyOne saw an abrupt demand slowdown in September in end markets such as building and construction, particularly in North America, the CEO of the US-based polymer materials firm said in an update on Wednesday.

China domestic phenol prices spike on tight supply, weak yuan

24 October 2018 09:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic phenol prices have surged by 40% from July and may remain firm for the rest of the year on the back of tight supply, weak yuan and amid an ongoing antidumping probe on imports.
Spot prices have been on a general uptrend since the second half of 2018, after hitting a low of CNY8,750-8,800/tonne ex-tank, the data showed.

Asia BD may have bottomed out after near-40% plunge

24 October 2018 06:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s spot butadiene prices may have bottomed out after plunging by nearly 40% over a two-month period, on improved Chinese buying interest.
Two deals were done at $1,050-1,070/tonne CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE) Asia this week, following a deal concluded at $1,060/tonne CFR NE Asia in the previous week.

NE Asia liquid caustic soda at 2-year low; India shipments on hold

24 October 2018 04:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of liquid caustic soda in northeast Asia fell below $400/dry metric tonne (dmt), to their lowest level in two years on increased supply as contract shipments to India, a key export market, were delayed.
More supply is available as a recent tightening of import rules for the material in India prompted northeast Asian producers mainly from Japan and South Korea to put contract volumes bound for the south Asian country on hold.

Asia ABS under downward pressure from weak demand, feedstock

23 October 2018 8:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices remained under downward pressure this week with demand in the key Chinese market staying lacklustre.

China Q3 economic growth slows to 6.5%, lowest since 2009

19 October 2018 06:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s economy posted a third-quarter annualized growth of 6.5%, the slowest quarterly expansion since the second quarter of 2009, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.
Growth in the world’s second-biggest economy has decelerated steadily in the past four quarters.

INTERACTIVE: Japan Sept chemical exports up 3.3%; plastics shipments dip

18 October 2018 09:51 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s overall chemical exports in September rose by 3.3% year on year to yen (Y) 723.2bn ($6.4bn), supported by higher shipments of organic chemicals, official data showed on Thursday.
Exports of organic chemicals rose by 4.2% year on year in September, while shipments of plastic materials abroad dipped by 1.1%, the country’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

S Korea September exports of most petrochemicals slump year on year

18 October 2018 05:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea's export volumes of most petrochemicals in September posted double-digit declines, industry data showed.
Its exports of ethylene fell by 27.8% year on year to 70,299 tonnes, while those of propylene declined by 27.0% year on year to 128,298 tonnes, according to data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

US-China trade dispute to weigh heavily on polyolefins - consultant

17 October 2018 07:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US’ exports of polyolefins to China in 2019 will be massively hit by the escalation of trade tariffs between the two countries, according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
“US polyolefins exports to China will be negatively impacted by 50% in 2019,” the firm said in a note.

Southeast Asia spot SBR offers fall on ample supply, BD plunge

17 October 2018 06:21 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) prices in southeast Asia continued to face downward pressure from ample supply and declining feedstock butadiene (BD) values.
Spot offers for November-shipment non-oil grade 1502 were at around $1,600-1,700/tonne CFR (cost and freight) southeast (SE) Asia.

China unlikely to sustain strong Sept exports growth - analysts

15 October 2018 07:38 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s exceptionally high export growth in September is unlikely to be sustainable in the near term as US' tariffs on its goods will soon start to bite, according to analysts.

Severity of US-China trade war impact on Europe chemicals to be limited - Moody's

11 October 2018 12:52 LONDON (ICIS)--A number of mitigating factors are expected to reduce the negative impact of the US-China trade war on European chemicals companies, despite the industry standing as one of the most vulnerable sectors to the escalating trade tensions between the two countries,

Asia PBR may extend falls as buyers retreat amid BD plunge

12 October 2018 05:54 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s polybutadiene rubber (PBR) prices may remain under pressure as buyers retreated following heavy losses in feedstock butadiene (BD) market.
Spot activities had almost ground to a halt in Asia this week despite the re-opening of the key Chinese market after a week-long National Day holiday on 1-7 October.

US-China trade war to have unintended impact on supply chains - Moody's

11 October 2018 16:43 LONDON (ICIS)--The US-China trade war will likely have “unintended consequences" on supply chains in the US and elsewhere, credit ratings agency Moody’s said in a report on Thursday.

Asia petrochemical shares crash after heavy losses in US equities

11 October 2018 04:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s petrochemical shares slumped on Thursday, tracking steep losses in regional bourses following a heavy sell-off in US equities overnight amid fresh concerns over slower global growth.

At 10:20 Singapore time (08:20 GMT), Japan’s Asahi Kasei Corp was down 3.69%, Mitsui Chemicals declined 3.03% and JXTG Holdings fell by 5.27%, as the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 index slumped by 3.93% to 22,581.37.

US PMDI prices decline on sufficient supply

10 October 2018 23:01 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US prices for polymeric methyl di-p phenylene isocyanate (PMDI) were assessed 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne) lower on sufficient supply.

US-Canada Sep PVC output, demand, exports maintain high levels

09 October 2018 22:47 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US and Canadian September production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) held steady with August, according to preliminary data released by an industry group on Tuesday.

China to raise tax rebates for exports from 1 November

09 October 2018 07:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will further raise export tax rebates on some goods starting 1 November, and make refund payments faster to reduce enterprises’ burden and boost exports amid the country’s trade war with the US.

Asia ABS offers higher post China holiday

09 October 2018 07:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins in Asia have risen following the week-long National Day holiday in China.
Quotations were higher by some $30-50/tonne from before the holidays (1-7 October), depending on the parcel size and origin.

China key petrochemical markets gain after week-long holiday

09 October 2018 07:08 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s key domestic petrochemical markets opened strong in the week on firm demand following the country’s long holiday. On 8 October, polypropylene (PP) prices were bolstered by gains in the futures markets, while polyethylene (PE) values increased amid lower-than-expected inventory levels.

IMF downgrades global growth forecasts as trade risks grow

09 October 2018 02:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday downgraded its forecast for the global economy, warning that downside risks to growth have risen partly due the disruptions caused by changes in trade policies.

Asia ABS offers higher post China holiday

09 October 2018 07:39 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins in Asia have risen following the week-long National Day holiday in China.Quotations were higher by some $30-50/tonne from before the holidays (1-7 October), depending on the parcel size and origin.

China to inject CNY1,200bn into financial system from 15 October

08 October 2018 07:03 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s central bank will inject a total of yuan (CNY) 1,200bn ($174bn) into its financial system from 15 October via a one-percentage point cut in the banks’ reserve requirements.
This is the fourth time that the central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) of banks this year.

Malaysia PP demand slows as new sales & services tax bites

05 October 2018 04:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polypropylene (PP) demand in Malaysia weakened in the first week of October due to the recent reinstatement of the sales and services tax (SST) in the country, market players said on Friday.
The SST, which took effect in early September, replaced the goods and services tax (GST), which was abolished in August.

Asia TDI downtrend continues on sluggish demand

04 October 2018 05:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) prices may remain on a downtrend in coming weeks, if regional demand fails to pick up soon.
Although TDI demand usually firms in the third and fourth quarters on seasonal factor, such expectations have thus far fallen flat this year.
Buyers held back purchases on growing concerns on how their own downstream markets will be squeezed amid the ongoing US-China trade row.

US October OX up on higher spot MX

03 October 2018 16:46 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US October orthoxylene (OX) contracts increased 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne) from September, sources confirmed Wednesday, amid higher US spot mixed xylenes (MX) stemming from strong downstream paraxylene (PX) demand in Asia.

NE Asia industries stable-to-weak in Sept; trade war worries persist

03 October 2018 05:26 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Manufacturing momentum in northeast Asia was stable-to-weak in September amid soft external demand, with overall business sentiment in the region weighed down by the ongoing China-US trade war.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slipped to an eight-month low of 50.8 in September from 51.3 in the previous month as exporters faced increasing strains from the slew of tariffs imposed by the US since July.

US manufacturing continues expanding in September but at slower rate

01 October 2018 16:26 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US manufacturing activity expanded for the 25th consecutive month in September, although at a slower rate compared with August amid continued concerns regarding US and China tariffs, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday.

INTERACTIVE: Developing Asia growth forecast cut on trade war risks - ADB

26 September 2018 05:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Developing Asia’s economy is still expected to expand by 6.0% this year but would expand at a slower pace than previously expected in 2019 on escalating trade tensions, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday.
The ADB trimmed its forecast for 2019 by 0.1 percentage point to 5.8% on concerns that “international production linkages” will be weighed by further escalations of trade tensions.

Asia PVC tumbles to more than 9-month low amid US-China trade war

26 September 2018 03:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in northeast Asia fell to their lowest in more than nine months, weighed down by competitively priced US cargoes and uncertainty amid the ongoing US-China trade war.

China wants US trade talks but not while 'knife to the throat'

25 September 2018 07:12  SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China said on Tuesday it is willing to hold talks with the US to resolve an escalating showdown on trade but not while Washington holds a knife to Beijing's throat.

Tariffs undermine benefits of US tax cuts, deregulation – ACC economist

24 September The uncertainty surrounding NAFTA as well as tariffs that the US and China are imposing on each other are undermining the benefits that the US chemical industry has enjoyed from the nation's tax cuts and deregulation, the chief economist of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Monday.

Asia ACN snaps six-month gains; downside limited by tight supply

24 September 2018 07:10 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's acrylonitrile (ACN) prices fell for the first time since end-March, after rising by 16.6% over nearly six months, but further declines will likely be limited as upcoming plant turnarounds will tighten supply.
In the week ended 21 September, regional spot prices dropped by $20-50/tonne week on week to $2,200-2,220/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, according to ICIS.

US-China trade war heightens as new tariffs on $260bn goods hit

24 September 2018 06:42 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The US-China trade war escalated as a third round of tariffs involving $260bn worth of goods was implemented on Monday, concerns for which have been rattling Asia’s equities and currency markets.
The US’ 10% tariffs on $200bn Chinese goods and China’s retaliatory 5-10% tariffs on $60bn US goods took effect at 04:01 GMT, barely three months since the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies officially started.

SE Asia polyols flat; potential upside from strong upstream markets

21 September 2018 05:40 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Import prices of polyether polyols in southeast Asia have stagnated, as sellers sought to sustain thin buying interest with stable offers.
But as cost pressures continue to mount on firm upstream values, it may not be long before sellers have to raise offers to rescue margins.

China will never intentionally devalue the yuan - Premier Li

20 September 2018 10:09 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will never intentionally devalue the yuan currency to stimulate exports, and will continue to introduce measures to further lower the average tariff on all imports, the country’s Premier Li Keqiang said.
In a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Tianjin, China, Li also said that unilateral trade actions will not solve any problems, the WEF said in a statement released on Thursday.
The yuan's sharp depreciation was largely due to the growing trade tensions between the US and China.

China ethylene self-sufficiency to top 64% by 2022

20 September 2018 08:07 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s self-sufficiency for ethylene is expected to reach 64.1% by 2022, up from 58.7% in 2017, as expansion in domestic capacity will speed up in the coming years, ICIS research data showed.
The country’s total ethylene capacity is estimated to increase by 72.9% over a five-year period to 40.38m tonnes/year in 2022, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6%.

Asia SAN tumbles as selling pressure mounts

20 September 2018 04:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) prices tumbled this week as sellers were keen to move parcels while demand in the key Chinese market stayed tepid.
“Some sales were finalized in the low-$1,600s/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China this week,” said a trader selling into China.

China PX buyers shun US-origin material amid trade war

19 September 2018 11:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese paraxylene (PX) buyers are unwilling to accept US-origin materials due to the ongoing US-China trade war.
This might pose some logistics challenges as several US-origin PX materials loaded from the second-half of August were mostly expected to arrive in China in end-September/early-October.
Several buyers in China are unwilling to accept US-origin materials unless the sellers are willing to bear the tariff costs.

Asia ABS under downward pressure amid lacklustre demand

19 September 2018 07:59 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia's acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) market remained under downward pressure this week with demand in the key Chinese market staying lacklustre.
The ongoing trade war between the US and China continued to dampen sentiment and slow trade.
“With the trade war ongoing, buyers kept asking for low prices,” said a trader in China.

US launches third round in China tariff war but blunts initial impact

18 September 2018 23:37 NEW YORK (ICIS)--With the third round of US tariffs on $200bn in Chinese imports, the US is launching another phase in the US-China trade war. However, it is mitigating some of the impact by excluding a number of chemicals in the final list and setting a lower initial tariff rate.

Revised US tariff list removes 142 chemical, plastic products – ACC

18 September 2018 18:37 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US removed 142 chemical and plastic products from the latest round of tariffs that it will impose on Chinese imports next week, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Tuesday.

US tariffs against China to have limited impact on fertilizers

18 September 2018 16:35
LONDON (ICIS)--The US tariffs against China are not likely to have any major impact on the fertilizers market, even though the final list includes nearly all the crop nutrients produced in China.

China to slap 5% & 10% tariffs on $60bn of US goods from 24 September

18 September 2018 15:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Ministry of Finance announced late on Tuesday it would impose 5% and 10% tariffs on $60bn of US goods from 12:01 Beijing time on 24 September as a countermove against the latest US measure. That would be largely lower than its initial plan, which was announced on 3 August and included 5%, 10%, 20% and 25% rates. The product list would remain the same.

Final $200bn US tariffs against China excludes some chemicals

18 September 2018 13:34 LONDON (ICIS)--The list of US tariffs against China in the latest $200bn round excludes 297 products from the original list, including some chemicals.

China imposes countermeasures to new round of US tariffs

18 September 2018 08:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will "synchronize its countermoves" to the US' latest round of tariffs, further escalating the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. "We deeply regret this. In order to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to synchronize its countermoves," the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said. Beijing had previously announced a 5%-25% tariffs on $60bn worth of US goods as its countermeasure to a further tariff action by the US.

US to impose tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports, may add more

18 September 2018 00:16 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US will impose tariffs on $200bn worth of imports from China, many of which include plastics and petrochemicals, President Donald Trump said on Monday. The tariffs will go into effect on 24 September, and they will start at 10%, Trump said. On 1 January, the tariffs will rise to 25%. If China takes what the administration considers to be retaliatory actions, then Trump threatened another round of tariffs on $267bn worth of additional imports, he said.

US Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018 does not roll back US-China tariffs

14 September 2018 23:04 NEW YORK (ICIS)--The US Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act of 2018 (MTB) does not void any of the 25% tariffs on a combined $50bn of Chinese imports, but simply reduces existing “normal” tariff rates on all the imports listed to zero or reduces them significantly for three years. Of the over 1,600 products listed in the MTB - which became law on 13 September - chemicals comprise over 50%, and this amount is around 60% including finished plastics products, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

INSIGHT: Trade dispute disruptions colour entire PE chain

14 September 2018 17:21 LONDON (ICIS)--In an interview with ICIS in New York on Thursday, LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel offered a measured analysis of the impact of the US/China trade dispute on polyethylene (PE) trade flows, costs and prices.  It is necessary to see whether the trade dispute is a negotiating tactic and transitory or whether there is more regional trade activity, he said. “Trade patterns are shifting as China sources from other regions and [US producers] are shifting to markets that are vacated,” he added on the sidelines of a Societe de Chimie Industrielle (SCI) meeting.

SE Asia PE stable to soft amid tepid demand, thin trade

14 September 2018 11:27 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Southeast Asia’s polyethylene (PE) import prices were stable-to-soft in the week amid limited buying interest. There was thin trade activity across the region as most buyers had purchased their cargoes as needed in the last two weeks.

Trump signs US bill for tariff exemption into law

13 September 2018 23:53 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump signed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Act of 2018 into law on Thursday, a bill designed to reduce or eliminate import tariffs on several products not available in the US. “By signing MTB into law, the President has affirmed his support for US chemicals manufacturers who rely on select foreign inputs to retain our position as the world’s leading, low-cost producer of chemicals," the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said.

Asia petchem shares rise sharply on hopes of fresh US-China trade talks

13 September 2018 10:32 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian petrochemical shares tracked the sharp rise in regional stock markets on Thursday, following news that the US has reached out to China for fresh trade talks.

China domestic PE may weaken amid ample supply, uncertain demand

13 September 2018 07:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic polyethylene (PE) prices may weaken in the near term because of ample supply and demand uncertainties amid the country’s trade war with the US.
Since mid-August, the combined PE and polypropylene (PP) inventories of state-owned petrochemical giants Sinopec and PetroChina stood at more than 700,000 tonnes per day, which were above the comfortable level, according to ICIS data.

Asia benzene slumps as China inventories rebound

12 September 2018 04:22 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s benzene market has been weakening as inventories in the key China market snapped two months of declines.
Spot prices tumbled below $850/tonne FOB (free on board) Korea in September, after hovering at above $870/tonne FOB Korea in the second half of August.

China Aug exports grow 9.8% on year; trade surplus with US at $31bn

10 September 2018 11:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s overall exports in August increased by 9.8% year on year to $217.4bn, according to preliminary government data. The country’s imports for the month were up 20.0% year on year at $189.5bn, resulting in a trade surplus of $27.9bn.
China's trade surplus with the US increased to $31.1bn in August despite the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies since early July.

Retaliatory tariffs on US chem exports to China threaten $18bn in economic harm – ACC

06 September 2018 23:22 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The $11bn worth of tariffs on US chemical exports enacted by China put almost $18bn in domestic activity at risk along with nearly 55,000 US jobs, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Thursday.

China imports of US ethane to make cost-competitive PE – consultancy

06 September 2018 22:38 BOSTON, Massachusetts (ICIS)--Importing ethane from the US to produce polyethylene (PE) in China should be a cost competitive proposition, a consultant said on Thursday.

US chem distributors face $1.277bn hit from latest tariff round

06 September 2018 21:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US chemical distributors would face a cost increase of $1.277bn if the country moves forward with its third round of tariffs on imports from China, according to a trade group that represents the industry.

Trade war intensifies as round 3 tariffs get closer

06 September 2018 17:21 As the third round of US-China tariffs looms, China finished plastics products will be in the crosshairs, along with additional US exports of commodity chemicals.

Risks intensifying in global economic growth outlook - ACC economist

06 September 2018 16:28 BOSTON, Massachusetts (ICIS)--Risks from US trade disputes and other factors are intensifying, dampening the global economic outlook even as overall growth is expected to continue, an economist said on Thursday.

Asia petchem shares fall as new round of US-China tariffs looms

06 September 2018 06:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of major Asian petrochemical firms were trading mostly lower on Thursday, tracking declines in global equities this week, as investors were wary about the potential impact of a fresh round of US tariffs on Chinese goods.
The public consultation period for the latest round of proposed US tariffs on $200bn additional Chinese good ends on 6 September, and they could technically take effect immediately thereafter. It is not yet clear if the tariffs will be set at 10% or 25%.

ExxonMobil mulls cracker, PE and PP plants in China’s Guangdong

06 September 2018 04:31 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--ExxonMobil is mulling a “multibillion-dollar” chemical complex in China’s Guangdong, which would include a 1.2m tonne/year flexible feed steam cracker as well as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) units, the US energy and petrochemicals major said on Thursday.

China says trade talks with US ‘constructive and candid’

24 August 2018 04:05 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China and the US held “constructive and frank” exchanges on economic and trade issues of mutual concern, China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.
“The two sides will maintain contact regarding the next steps,” it said in a statement. A Chinese delegation led by vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen ended the two-day talk with US officials in Washington on 23 August.

INSIGHT: US chemical exports to take bigger hit in US-China 2nd round of tariffs

23 August 2018 17:54 NEW YORK (ICIS)--The 2nd round of US and China tariffs, each comprising 25% on $16bn in imports and going into effect on 23 August, will hit US commodity chemical exports to China far harder, as the impact on comparable China exports to the US should be negligible.

Weak Turkey adds woes to Europe PE market as China tariffs come into effect

23 August 2018 12:53 LONDON (ICIS)--The ailing Turkish polyethylene (PE) market is leading to concerns over fresh imports into Europe as China's 25% tariffs on US product came into effect on Thursday. Turkey is on holiday this week, but is still reeling from the weakness of the lira, and the inability of PE buyers to buy what they need.

23 August 2018 13:44 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--From 23 August China levies a 25% tariff on US imports of mono ethylene glyclol (MEG). In the short-term, US-based producers will face some challenges to divert the cargoes to other locations, while in the middle-to-long term, changes in trade flows will be inevitable to cater to the new facilities coming on board in the US.

China shuns US petchems as trade war escalates; eyes Asian supply

23 August 2018 07:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's petrochemical importers have been actively looking for new sources of supply within Asia to minimize their reliance on US cargoes amid the escalation of the US-China trade war. The second wave of the US’ 25% tariffs on additional Chinese imports worth $16bn took effect on 23 August, raising the value of affected goods in the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies to $50bn.

US-China trade war escalates as new round of tariffs take effect

23 August 2018 06:55 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The US-China trade war escalated as a new round of tariffs affecting $16bn worth of imports, including petrochemicals, took effect at midday in Asia on Thursday, raising the total value of affected goods to $50bn on each side. The second wave of US tariffs on Chinese imports is being implemented less than two months since the first salvo on 6 July, and just as trade negotiations between the two countries were revived in Washington.

US EDC caught in China tariffs; players expect minor disruptions, firmer prices

22 August 2018 22:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US will begin implementing tariffs on Thursday against a host of Chinese products. This will draw US ethylene dichloride (EDC) into the fray as China implements retaliatory 25% tariffs against US imports of the feedstock for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

INSIGHT: China's latest tariffs on chemicals, polymers set to distort regional trade

22 August 2018 16:58 LONDON (ICIS)--It is not necessarily a calm before the storm but traders and others have to deal with the world as it is. The bottom line impact can be gauged later. Petrochemical sources in China do not hold out much hope for the working-level China-US trade talks in Washington which begin on Wednesday.

China petchems players calm on new tariffs, seek alternative suppliers

22 August 2018 10:13 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese petrochemicals players appear calm ahead of the tariffs to be implemented on several US goods this week while speeding up the search for alternative suppliers. However, some players conceded they will face losses on contractual volumes signed months ago which will be subject to tariffs. On Thursday (23 August), a 25% tariff on $16bn worth of US-origin goods will come into effect, and petrochemicals players have been busy looking for alternative ways to replace imports from that country, acquire new supply and reduce possible losses.

US ACC requests removal of all chems, plastics from third tariff list against China

20 August 2018 19:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Monday requested that US President Donald Trump’s Administration remove all chemicals and plastic products from the the third list of imported goods from China, approximately $16.4bn worth.

Trump US trade, fiscal policy cause for concern - economists

20 August 2018 16:18 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s trade and fiscal policy stances are cause for concern among economists, according to a survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) on Monday.

INTERACTIVE: China tariffs on US MEG could alter trade flows, new capacity plans

17 August 2018 21:41 HOUSTON (ICIS)--Market players are contemplating the long-term impact of China's upcoming tariffs on US monoethylene glycol (MEG), especially as new US capacity is slated to come online in 2019.

NE Asia EDC at 16-month high on tight supply, US-China trade war

17 August 2018 05:46 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Ethylene dichloride (EDC) prices in northeast Asia are at their highest in 16 months amid short spot supply and uncertainty caused by the US-China trade tensions.
Asia could see changing trade flows as China, a key import market in the region, will start imposing a 25% tariff on US-origin EDC on 23 August.

China petchem imports weaken; domestic prices spike on yuan slump

16 August 2018 07:29 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s appetite for petrochemical imports is waning on rising costs stemming from the continued depreciation of the Chinese yuan, while the consequent surge in domestic demand was fueling price spikes in the local markets.
Chinese petrochemical buyers are shying away from the import market as the yuan has slid almost steadily for four months, losing more than 10% of its value against the US dollar from 15 April, according to currency data provider XE.

China benzene rally bolsters Asia markets; inventories dwindle

14 August 2018 07:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic benzene prices continued to rally, bolstering the Asian markets in August, amid the country’s ongoing trade war with the US.
Local prices of benzene increased this week to above Chinese yuan (CNY) 7,200/tonne ($1,047/tonne) ex-tank, up by CNY1,000/tonne or 16% from late June/early July, ICIS data showed.

Asia BD market shrugs off China’s 25% tariff on US imports

13 August 2018 07:35 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s butadiene (BD) market is not expected to take a significant hit even as the key China market will start imposing an additional 25% tariff on US material from 23 August. The US is traditionally not a key BD exporter to Asia, and only tends to ship out BD to the region toward the end of each year as US producers destock, market sources said.

China’s levy of new tariffs to have little impact on US MEG imports
10 August 2018 07:12 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s decision to levy an additional 25% tariff on $16bn worth of US-origin goods starting from 23 August will have a limited impact on monoethylene glycol (MEG) imports in the near term, market players said.

China ACN imports from the US to decline more after trade war
10 August 2018 08:37 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s import of acrylonitrile (ACN) from the US will decline further after imposition of 25% tariff on US origin goods from 23 August.

China to impose additional 25% tariff on US base oils imports
09 August 2018 10:43 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has finalised its second list for $16bn worth of US-origin goods subject to an additional 25% tariff starting from 23 August, the Ministry of Commerce announced late on Wednesday.

China's HDPE, LLDPE US imports disruption seen after 23 Aug tariffs
09 August 2018 09:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chinese imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) from the US will be severely disrupted after tariffs are imposed by both countries from 23 August.

China tariffs on $16bn of US goods to take effect 23 August

08 August 2018 19:50 HOUSTON (ICIS)--China said on Wednesday that it will begin imposing 25% tariffs on $16bn of US goods starting 23 August.

Second list of US tariffs on China goods to go into effect 23 Aug

07 August 2018 23:00 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Trade Representative (USTR) office on Tuesday finalised its second list for $16bn worth of Chinese imports subject to a 25% tariff, saying US Customs officials will begin collecting duties on 23 August.

China’s tariff on $60bn US products covers many key chemicals

06 August 2018 09:06 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's latest tit-for-tat tariff ranging 5-25% on 5,207 US products include hundreds of chemicals attracting the highest duty rate.  Key petrochemicals such as aromatics (including toluene and its derivatives), methanol, acetic acid, terephthalic acid (PTA), methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI), toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) will all face a 25% punitive duty.

US LNG sellers, developers view China-imposed tariffs as threat, unproductive

03 August 2018 20:19 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies and advocates said that the announcement by China’s finance ministry on its intent to impose a 25% tariff on US LNG is detrimental for the industry, although timing of imposing the tariffs are unclear.

Global PE markets to manage China tariffs on US imports - LyondellBasell CEO

03 August 2018 19:55 NEW YORK (ICIS)--The global polyethylene (PE) markets should be able to adjust to US-China tariffs well, similar to how the styrene markets adjusted to China antidumping duties (ADDs), the CEO of producer LyondellBasell said on Friday.

US Trinseo expects only minimal tariff impact - CEO

03 August 2018 17:26 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The trade tariffs currently being implemented or proposed should have only minimal, but certainly not material impacts on Trinseo, the CEO of the US-based producer of plastics, synthetic rubber and latex binders said in an update on Friday.

China announces 25% retaliatory tariff on US LNG, other goods; timing yet to be set

03 August 2018 16:32 HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Chinese commerce ministry has announced retaliatory tariffs on US goods, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be subject to a 25% tariff, the agency said on Friday.

US DowDuPont expects no meaningful effect from tariffs this year

02 August 2018 19:42 HOUSTON (ICIS)--DowDuPont expects that tariffs will not have a meaningful effect on the company this year because of steps it has already taken and because it has plants all over the world, the CEO of the US-based company said on Thursday.

China to remain attractive market for PE exports despite tariffs - Westlake

02 August 2018 18:15 HOUSTON (ICIS)--China will remain an attractive market for polyethylene (PE) exports from the US and other regions, despite recent trade tensions, Westlake Chemical executives stated during a Thursday earnings call.

Asia ABS steady after recent decline, near term improvement likely

02 August 2018 06:45 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) demand remained lacklustre this week although some sellers expect a potential improvement in the near term.

US considers increasing tariff rate on second set of Chinese goods to 25%

01 August 2018 22:55 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s administration is considering raising the proposed tariff rate on $200bn in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday.

US manufacturing continues to expand in July but at slower rate

01 August 2018 16:40 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US manufacturing activity expanded for the 23rd consecutive month in July, although at a slower rate compared with June, the country's Institute of Supply Management (ISM) said on Wednesday.

US distributor Univar clear on tariff threat, sees price inflation - CEO

01 August 2018 16:18 HOUSTON  (ICIS)--Univar sees no material impacts from tariffs in the ongoing US-China trade dispute, David Jukes, CEO of the US-based international chemicals distribution major said in an update on Wednesday.

Global regions react to potential paraffin wax tariffs

26 July 2018 20:27 HOUSTON (ICIS)--In the US, wax market participants are cautious about forward supply since the US is a net-importer of paraffin waxes, mostly from China.

US Axalta gauges tariffs impact, warns on consumer behaviour – CEO

26 July 2018 17:23 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US coatings major Axalta estimates direct impacts from the ongoing trade tensions and tariffs at less than 1% of its adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), CEO Charles Shaver said in an update during the company’s Q2 earnings call on Thursday.

ACC requests US to remove $2.2bn worth of chems, plastics from proposed China tariffs

25 July 2018 HOUSTON (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s administration risks losing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in chemical investments by not excluding $2.2bn worth of chemicals and plastic products from its second list of tariffs against China, a senior American Chemistry Council (ACC) official testified on Wednesday.

China PP under pressure amid trade war with US, falling yuan

25 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s polypropylene (PP) import prices are under pressure amid the country's escalating trade war with the US and the continued depreciation of the yuan against the US dollar.
Downstream demand is seasonally soft, with the weakness aggravated by concerns about the US’ proposed tariffs on additional $200bn worth Chinese imports.

Asia ABS steady after recent rout; producers reduce output

25 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market was stable this week, following recent tumbles, as buyers emerged from the sidelines to pick up some cargoes.
The resins were deemed to be trading at an attractive discount after recent slippages.

Asian petchem shares mixed amid US-China trade war concerns

23 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Shares of major petrochemicals firms in Asia were trading mixed on Monday after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on $500bn worth Chinese imports, and a warning from G20 on rising risks from trade tensions.
At 12:40 hours (04:40 GMT), Japan’s Asahi Kasei was down 0.99%, South Korea’s LG Chem was up 0.75% and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical was 0.62% lower.
Trump on 20 July said that the US was ready to impose tariffs on the full amount of $500bn of Chinese goods. Beijing has yet to respond.

Asia ABS tries to regain footing after recent tumble

18 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market is trying to regain its footing after a sharp fall last week. Most offers this week are at the low- to high-$1,900/tonne CFR (cost & freight) NE (northeast) Asia, but some sales to the key Chinese market remained at under $1,900/tonne CFR for certain sellers. Prices plunged to $1,925/tonne CFR NE Asia last week, after the US threatened to slap tariffs on additional $200bn worth of Chinese goods, which included a range of appliances, of which ABS is a major component.

IMF keeps '18 global growth at 3.9%; warns of risks from trade war

16 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said that it has kept its global growth forecast unchanged at 3.9% for both 2018 and 2019, but warned that risks to the outlook are mounting amid escalating trade tensions between the US and China. “The balance of risks has shifted further to the downside, including in the short term,” the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update report. The IMF warned that avoiding protectionist measures and finding a cooperative solution remains crucial to preserve the overall global economic expansion.

China files WTO challenge over US tariffs

16 July 2018 LONDON (ICIS)--China has filed a complaint against the US at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Monday over the decision to place tariffs on an additional $200bn of exports to the country. The statement from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) comes less than a week after the US announced plans to levy a 10% tax rate against a raft of Chinese exports to the US, the latest tranche of punitive trade charges placed on the country.

INSIGHT: Trade war means seismic shift for chemicals

13 July 2018 BARCELONA (ICIS)--As Donald Trump ratchets up his tariffs against China it looks increasingly like a full-blown trade war is in the offing. His decision to put “America First” signals a move away from the globalisation philosophy that has dominated the global economy since the Second World War. Replacing it is a retreat into a focus on individual nations and regions which has major implications for the chemical industry. With import tariffs going up between major economies and likely to increase in scope and intensity, chemicals CEOs will need to focus on ensuring they have production within their key markets. Relying on a single plant to serve the global market may no longer make business sense if a 25% tariff will be slapped onto its exports.

US polymers can pay China tariffs and still make money - consultant

13 July 2018 BARCELONA (ICIS)--US ethane-based polyethylene (PE) producers are so cost-advantaged that they could absorb a 25% tariff on their exports to China and still be profitable, according to an ICIS consultant. With US president Donald Trump threatening to impose an extra $200bn in tariffs against Chinese imports, China is likely to activate its next round of tariffs which include a 25% duty on low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear-low density polyethylene (LLDPE).

China options limited to counter US’ proposed tariffs - analysts

13 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China has limited options to respond to the US’ planned tariffs on as much as $500bn additional Chinese goods, and may have to resort to non-tariff countermeasures on what the Asian powerhouse deemed as “trade bullying”. China has vowed to adopt a tit-for-tat approach on any trade barrier that the US will put up.

China Q3 PE imports to weaken vs Q2 on yuan slump amid trade war

12 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China's polyethylene (PE) imports will weaken in the third quarter due to the sharp depreciation of the yuan (CNY) amid the country’s escalating trade war with the US. According to industry estimates, China’s second-quarter PE imports totaled 3.5m tonnes, up from the official data of 3.4m tonnes in the first three months of the year.

Latest $200bn US tariff proposal includes many Chinese chems

11 July HOUSTON (ICIS)--Several chemicals are included in the $200bn worth of tariffs that the US may impose on Chinese imports in the latest escalation of the trade war between the two countries. The US will hold hearings on 20-23 August before imposing a 10% duty on the items in the list. The list is massive, exceeding 6,000 products

US chem trade group ACC slams latest US tariff announcement

11 July HOUSTON (ICIS)--The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Wednesday called the US Trump administration’s announcement of a potential 10% tariff on $200bn of additional imports from China “a stunning and unfortunate development for US manufacturers and consumers”. US President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled late on Tuesday a new list of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200bn, including a significant amount of chemicals.

Chinese traders shy away from US MLLDPE cargoes as trade war looms

11 July SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Traders in China are shying away from metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) imports of US origin as trade tensions between the two countries continues to escalate, market sources said on Wednesday.  US President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a new list of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200bn late on Tuesday, with China threatening to retaliate with countermeasures.

Trump ups China trade war ante, “shocked” Beijing to respond

11 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a new list of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200bn late on Tuesday, unleashing a new threat in an escalating trade war that has the whole world worried, rattling markets on Wednesday. China vowed to fight back. “China is shocked and will be forced to take countermeasures as usual to defend its own interests,” the country’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

US to impose new tariffs on additional $200bn Chinese goods

11 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a new list of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200bn late on Tuesday, unleashing a new threat in an escalating trade war that has the whole world worried.  The US administration has announced a two-month public review of the list of Chinese products identified on which a new 10% duty will be imposed, with hearings to be held on 20-23 August.

China eyes measures to ease adverse impact of US tariffs

10 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China is looking at implementing a combination of policies to ease any adverse impact on all types of enterprises of its trade war with the US. China responded in kind on 6 July to the US' imposition of tariffs on $34bn worth of Chinese goods. The country will use majority of the expected increase in its tax revenue from its countermeasures to alleviate the expected impact of the US tariffs on enterprises.

US-China trade war begins; tariffs on $34bn goods take effect

06 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--US tariffs on $34bn on Chinese goods took effect on 6 July, prompting China to respond with the same scale and intensity, effectively triggering a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said the US has launched the “largest trade war in economic history”, and violated World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

China says US launched “largest trade war in economic history”

06 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Ministry of Commerce said the US has just launched the “largest trade war in economic history”, when Washington's tariffs on $34bn worth of Chinese goods took effect on 6 July. The US move was in violation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the Chinese ministry said in a statement, noting that China will retaliate. “China promised not to shoot the first shot, but in order to safeguard the core interests of the state and the interests of the masses, it had to be forced to make the necessary counter attack,” the MOC said

US-China tariffs could lead to global PE price war - consultant

06 July 2018 BARCELONA (ICIS)--The introduction on Friday of trade tariffs by China and the US is the first step in a trade war that could turn into a global polyethylene (PE) price war as the wave of new US production is sent to new markets, likely Europe, according to a chemical consultant.

China will not implement tariffs ahead of the US - Ministry of Finance

05 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China will not move ahead with tit-for-tat import tariffs before Washington makes a move to impose them on 6 July. Because of the 12-hour time difference, it was widely expected that China will impose tariffs on $34bn of US goods ahead of Washington but the country’s Ministry of Finance on Wednesday said that it will not fire the first shot.

Demand for MLLDPE imports in China weak as yuan continues its slump

04 July SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Demand for metallocene linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) imports from China was tepid in the week, as the Chinese yuan continued its slump amid fears of a US-China trade war, market sources said on 4 July.

More US tariffs pose strong risks to global trade, economy – Fitch

04 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Further tariff measures by the US would escalate risks to global trade and economic growth, Fitch Ratings said on 4 July. So far, the scale of tariffs imposed has been too small to materially affect forecasts for world growth, it said.

China factory conditions may deteriorate further on weak exports

03 July 2018 SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s manufacturing conditions will likely deteriorate further in the coming months amid weakening exports, while the government’s recent measure to boost domestic consumption may take some time before taking root, according to analysts. Manufacturing activities in Chinese industries eased in June, with the country’s official June purchasing managers’ index (PMI) falling to 51.5 points from 51.9 in May. Export orders posted a lower reading of 49.8, indicating a contraction.

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