Asia top stories - weekly summary

Source: ICIS News

2018/11/26

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 23 November 2018.

Asian PMDI weighed down by weak demand, clouded by trade war Chinese import prices for polymeric di-p-phenylene isocyanate (PMDI) have slipped to a fresh low in the year but buyers interest looks set to stay limp in the foreseeable future overshadowed by the US-China trade spat.

Southeast Asia PP falls on steep propylene losses, ample supply Southeast Asia’s polypropylene (PP) market is being dragged down by steep losses in feedstock propylene market since late October, amid ample supply and weak regional downstream demand.

Chinese methanol prices fall to lowest point in 2018, outlook mixed Chinese methanol spot prices reached a 2018 low of $325/tonne on 16 November - a level last seen in September 2017 – amid mixed outlook with some believing that rock bottom has been hit while others expect further declines.

China domestic PE prices slump on oversupply, poor demand China’s spot domestic polyethylene (PE) prices have slumped since October and may remain bearish amid ample supply and lukewarm demand.

Asia MEK market bearish amid slump in China domestic prices Asia’s methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) market is bearish in the near term on falling Chinese domestic prices amid tumbling crude values.

Asia palm oil price vitality may restore oleochemicals buyer confidence Palm oil prices in Asia are showing signs of vitality after a month of unexpected decline partly on the back of a seasonal upswing.

China TDI recovers on tight prompt supply; price may not hold firm Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) domestic prices in China are edging up after three long months of straight-line declines as prompt supplies among traders started to dry up, prompting local TDI makers to seize the opportunity and raise offers.

SE Asia MA slumps to year-low on soft feedstock; demand to stay weak Southeast Asia maleic anhydride (MA) prices were softer in tandem with lower feedstock butane contract prices in November with demand expected to stay weak till the year end.

Raging US-China trade war scuttles APEC joint communique 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).

Asia EPS hits fresh low on ample supply & low feedstock; outlook poor Asian expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices hit a fresh low on the back of ample supply, slow demand and falling feedstock costs, factors that will keep the sentiment bearish in the near term.

NE Asia propylene hits lowest in 2018 after five-week slump Spot propylene prices in northeast Asia plunged to their lowest so far this year after five consecutive weeks of decline, tracking domestic movement in the key China market, with sentiment weighed down by falling crude.

Asia MPG-USP eases on falling feedstock PO costs Asia’s spot prices for pharmaceutical-grade monopropylene glycol (MPG-USP) cargoes fell as sellers moderated offers in line with lower feedstock proplyene oxide (PO) costs.

Asia BPA near 12-month low, outlook bearish on dismal import demand China’s bisphenol A (BPA) prices have tumbled close to a 12-month low amid dwindling demand, and weakness of the Chinese Yuan currency to the US dollar that might persist, according to market sources.

Asia petrochemical markets slump on faltering demand 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.

Tough time ahead for Asian PET sellers with competitive Chinese prices Asian polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers would be facing tough competition from their Chinese counterparts who can offer PET at a competitive price after the country increased export tax rebate for the material.

Asia PO market bearish amid slump in China domestic prices Falling Chinese domestic prices are weighing on sentiment in Asia’s propylene oxide (PO) market, widening buy-sell gap and hampering spot trade on US dollar-denominated import cargoes.

Asia NBR under downward pressure amid bearish sentiment Asia’s acrylonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) market is facing further downward pressure because of prevailing bearish market sentiment and a weak global economic outlook.

China PE import prices plunge on crude slump, poor demand China’s polyethylene (PE) import prices plunged this week, dragged down by tumbling upstream crude value amid the year-end lull in consumption.

Asia naphtha sinks to 14-month low on supply glut, bearishness to linger Asia’s naphtha prices have slumped to a 14-month low, pummelled by continued concerns of a supply glut amid a bearish market, a scenario that could linger, according to market sources.

China PP market bearish amid C3 slump, ample supply 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.

China PE pipe grade market to remain bearish on poor demand The outlook for China's high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe grade market remains bearish following the sharp fall in prices this month, with buyers cautious as to when they should replenish their stocks.