Topic Page: US-China trade war

Source: ICIS News


As trade tensions rise between the US and China, the prospect of a trade war has wide-ranging implications for the chemical industry. On this landing page you will find links to the latest related ICIS news and analysis plus graphics.


  • 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. 

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 $12.9bn worth from China in 2017, noted the ACC in its analysis of US International Trade Commission (ITC) data. As the original list included 1,505 chemicals and plastics products valued at $16.4bn, the value of the imports from China of the removed products in 2017 was $3.5bn.

At a tariff rate of 10%, this equates to $1.3bn in tariffs that would be collected by the US government, based on 2017 levels of imports. At 25%, this rises to $3.2bn. However, future imports of these products could fall significantly, reducing the actual amounts collected.

The ACC analysis includes HTS (Harmonized Tariff Schedule) code chapters 27 (only select chemicals from this list), 28 (inorganic chemicals), 29 (organic chemicals) and 31-39 (fertilizers, dyes, extracts, surfactants, finished plastics, etc). It excludes chapters 30 (pharmaceuticals) and 40 (rubber products).

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 $15.1bn 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, but the rates were significantly reduced to 5-10% versus 5-25%.

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 - If China takes what the administration considers to be retaliatory actions, then President Trump has threatened another round of tariffs on $267bn worth of additional imports.
  • 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.


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. Source for table: ICIS Supply & Demand Database.Products added/removed from $16bn (part 2) China tariff 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.

  • 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.

These tariffs would be largely lower than its initial plan, which was announced on 3 August and included rates of 5%, 10%, 20% and 25%. These tariffs will hit an additional $8.8bn in US chemical and polymer exports to China, according to the ACC.

In round three, US exports to China most impacted in terms of volume would be paraxylene (PX), ethylbenzene and methanol. But the overall impact on commodity chemicals would be less than in the second round.

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.

Picture source: Rex Shutterstock