Asia Chemical Industry Outlook for 2019

Source: ICIS News

2019/01/16

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The following OUTLOOK '18 stories were published by ICIS news between Friday 21 December 2018 and Thursday 10 January 2019. Please click on the headlines to read the full versions.

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

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

OUTLOOK ’19: China BD under pressure; domestic capacity to grow
China’s spot butadiene (BD) prices are likely to face downward pressure in 2019 as domestic capacity will increase by 10%, while downstream demand is expected to stay weak.

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

OUTLOOK ’19: China PO under pressure on long supply, sluggish demand
China propylene oxide (PO) prices may stay capped in 2019, unless demand from key application polyols could pick up sufficiently to absorb burgeoning supplies.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia styrene to hinge on demand, deep-sea arb flow
Movements in Asia’s styrene market for the first quarter of 2019 are likely to hinge on the viability of deep-sea arbitrage flows from exporters in the West and buying appetite from several downstream sectors.

OUTLOOK '19: China SM to find H1 support from heavy Asia turnarounds
China’s styrene monomer (SM) domestic prices are expected to be supported in the first half of 2019, as supply is likely to be tight amid a heavy plant turnaround schedule in Asia

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia BDO seen weak in Q1; Chinese output cuts to cushion PBT declines
Asia spot prices of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and its downstream polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are expected to continue their downward trend in the first quarter of 2019, and the prospects for recovery are seen weak for the rest of the year.

OUTLOOK’ 19: SE Asia PE market faces further downward pressure on oversupply
Southeast Asia polyethylene (PE) market is likely to face some downward pressure in 2019 on oversupply as demand could not catch up with the large capacity additions.

OUTLOOK '19: SE Asia PP to be weighed down by new start-ups
Polypropylene (PP) spot prices in southeast Asia may continue to be suppressed moving into the first quarter of 2019 as the market continues to grapple with fresh supplies and tepid downstream demand amid global trade tensions.

OUTLOOK ’19: China PP market to rebound on China-US truce, but see pressure in Q1
The outlook for China polypropylene (PP) prices is somewhat pessimistic, with expectations of oversupply but weak demand in early 2019.

OUTLOOK '19: Middle Eastern PE markets to see further clarity in Q1
The first quarter of 2019 is likely to lend greater clarity to polyethylene (PE) demand and prices in the Middle East, given that uncertainty and pessimism persist going into the end of 2018.

OUTLOOK '19: Middle Eastern PP markets look to China for direction
Polypropylene (PP) markets in the Middle East will look to China for a clearer price direction in Q1 2019 as they grapple with a lacklustre macroeconomic environment.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia MMA markets may tumble on ample supply, weak confidence in Q1
Asia’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) spot markets could tumble on the back of ample supply and sluggish buying momentum in the first quarter of 2019, industry players said.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia ACN prices to follow cost trend on new supply, less turnarounds
Asia's acrylonitrile (ACN) price trend may take a cue from feedstock propylene in 2019 as ACN plants are expected to run in full throttle given a lower rate of turnarounds next year, and Chinese and South Korean supply is expected to increase as such.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia's benzene to continue struggling with long supply
A long supply scenario aptly describes the Asia benzene market in 2018, a situation unlikely to change in 2019.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia LAB market mixed in the near term on uncertain upstream
The Asia/Middle East linear alkylbenzene (LAB) market is likely to be mixed in the near term on uncertain upstream crude and benzene values.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia's toluene poised for higher spot liquidity amid volatility
Asia toluene is poised for increased spot trading liquidity and cargo availability, be it free-on-board (FOB) Korea basis or cost-and-freight (CFR) China, though demand in the downstream benzene market is seen slightly weaker in the first quarter.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia ethanolamines may stay soft on weak upstream, slow Q1 demand
Asia’s ethanolamines markets may be weighed down by weak upstream ethylene and ethylene oxide (EO) values, as well as slow demand in the first quarter of 2019.

OUTLOOK ‘19: Asia IX demand seen robust on new downstream PX capacity
Asia’s isomer-grade xylenes (IX) market sentiment is likely to stay positive in the coming months on increased demand from the planned startups of downstream capacities in the region.

OUTLOOK’19: China NBA to remain bearish in Q1 on weak fundamentals
Prices of n-butyl alcohol (NBA) in China may face limited upward momentum against an imbalanced supply-demand picture in the first quarter of 2019, following a significant turbulence this year.

OUTLOOK’19: China MX prices seen bullish in second-half 2019
China’s mixed xylene (MX) prices will remain bearish in the first half of 2019 given rising supply and stagnant downstream demand.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia etac to fluctuate with feedstock after hitting one-year low
Asia spot etac prices are likely to track feedstock prices in the first quarter of 2019 as the overall market structure is one of balanced-to-long supply over largely stable but slow demand.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia's BG continues to face ample supply, weak Chinese demand
Butyl glycol spot prices in Asia may continue a trend of decline going into the first quarter of 2019, as the market would be inundated with Middle East flows and growing exports from other Asian producers.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia ADA market may stay soft in Q1 2019 on increasing capacity
Asia’s adipic acid (ADA) market may remain weak in the first quarter of 2019, as the outlook is expected to be dulled by the twin combination of new plant capacities in China and a paucity of healthy demand.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia's PET sees supply-demand balance, market calmness
Asia's polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market is expecting to be balanced in supply and demand next year, and margins are likely to be within range following a tumultuous 2018.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia BPA markets set for limited fluctuations
Asia bisphenol A (BPA) markets are poised to see limited fluctuations amid expectations of demand to stabilise at best in early 2019.

OUTLOOK '19: China BPA seen balanced until new plant capacities creep in
China’s bisphenol (A) market is likely to be balanced to soft in 2019, following a roller-coaster 2018, as the first half of the new year may face a supply shortfall until new plants start up in the latter half.

OUTLOOK '19: Indian fiscal issues to persist in H1 2019, cap polyolefin demand
The Indian polyolefin market is likely to remain afflicted by tight fiscal liquidity that presently persists in the country, and a recovery, if any, is poised to be seen only in the second half of the year.

OUTLOOK ’19: China PE market expected to stay at a high level in H1
China polyethylene (PE) prices were expected to stand at a comparatively high level in the first half of 2019 due to slowed capacity expansion.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia solvents demand may pick up on restocking activities
Asia's isopropanol (IPA) and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) may see a light at the end of the tunnel, with a demand recovery foreseeable in the earlier part of 2019 and that could set the trend of a balanced market for the year amidst a steady flow of supply.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia phenol H1 sentiment seen sluggish on plant restarts
The sentiment in the Asian phenol market is expected to be sluggish in the first half of 2019, weighed by ample supply following the restarts at China-based plants from maintenance.

OUTLOOK ‘19: China acetone supply glut to ease in 2019 on demand growth
The oversupply in China’s acetone market is expected to mitigate in 2019 as the start-ups of some downstream expansion projects may significantly bolster demand.

OUTLOOK’19: Phenol supply to remain tight on strong demand, ADD duties
China’s phenol supply is expected to remain tight in 2019 on downstream capacity expansions along with the release of preliminary and final results of the country's anti-dumping duty (ADD) investigations.

OUTLOOK '19: Weak demand for epoxy resins to weigh on China ECH prices
China's epichlorohydrin (ECH) prices are likely to face downward pressure from weak downstream epoxy resins demand in 2019 even as domestic ECH supply remains tight.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia PMMA may extend losses on poor demand, high stocks in Q1
Asia’s polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) import markets may extend losses due to dwindling demand and high inventories in the first quarter of 2019.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia's caprolactum sees burgeoning supply on high runs
Asia’s caprolactam prices are expected to see more weakness in 2019, pressured by rising supply amid high runs and upcoming plant expansions in China.

OUTLOOK '19: China ACN prices to fluctuate in 2019 on ample supply
China’s acrylonitrile (ACN) market may face challenges in 2019, given the anticipated ample supply, weak downstream demand and slowing global economic growth.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia's MTBE may face a supply deluge from new plants
Asia's methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is likely to face a supply glut in 2019, owing to the onset of new plants while sluggish demand would prevail.

OUTLOOK ’19: China MTBE to be clouded by oversupply woes, biofuel promotion
Severe supply overhang following two new unit start-ups, and the nationwide promotion of ethanol gasoline may dampen the 2019 outlook of China’s methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) market.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia ethylene balance likely to lengthen in 2019
Asia ethylene is expected to be more ample in 2019, on the back of fewer cracker turnarounds in Japan, regional capacity expansions and possible downstream output cuts.

OUTLOOK ’19: Some support expected for C3 in Q1 on restocking activities
Spot propylene prices in the first quarter 2019 could see some support in the run up to the Lunar New Year in early February after ending 2018 on a dismal note.

OUTLOOK ’19: China's Q1 propylene prices to firm on PDH maintenance fever
China's domestic propylene markets are expected to see firmer prices, as the supply pool tightens owing to a peak turnaround season for propane dehydrogenation (PDH) in the first quarter of 2019.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia's polystyrene to be driven by feedstock volatility
Asia's polystyrene (PS) prices shall take strong cues from volatility in upstream feedstock styrene monomer (SM), as margins are a main driving force for liquidity in the regional markets.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia PVC likely to be stable-to-firm in Q1
Sustained demand in India for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and increased safety concerns in China are likely to lend support to firmer prices in the first quarter of 2019.

OUTLOOK ’19: India PVC demand to recover in Q1 on agricultural pipes
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand in India is expected to improve in early 2019 in view of the peak season for pipe laying in the region.

OUTLOOK ’19: Ample supply in Asia may weigh on caustic soda going into Q1
Downward pressure on caustic soda prices in Asia is likely to remain in the first quarter of 2019 due to ample supply from northeast Asia.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia TiO2 market faces a bearish start to the year on weak Chinese demand
Asia's titanium dioxide (TiO2) market looks set to start the year on a bearish note for the first time in two years on weak demand from China and volatile global trade conditions.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia's chemical shipping faces uncertainties amid trade war
Asia’s chemical freight market is facing an uncertain outlook in the first quarter, as the ongoing US-China trade war continues to weigh on overall petrochemical demand.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia TDI softening on stable demand outpaced by supply
Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) prices in Asia are expected to be soft as weak demand is expected to continue in the early months of 2019.

OUTLOOK ’19: Mideast soft TDI demand, new supply to weigh on prices
Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) prices in the Middle East are expected to be soft as weak demand is expected to continue in the early months of 2019.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia, Middle East PMDI to remain under pressure
It has been yet another tumultuous 2018 for the isocyanates in the Asia and the Middle East and 2019 is likely to see further volatility with prices expected to remain under pressure at the start of the new year.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia ABS, SAN demand seen weak despite US-China trade truce
Import demand for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) resins in the key China market is expected to remain tepid in 2019, despite the temporary truce achieved in the US-China trade war in early December.

Outlook '19: Asia's nylon prices to stay soft on weak demand, rising supply
Asia’s nylon prices are to stay soft in the first quarter, as demand is expected to stay weak while supply is seen increasing further in the year owing to feedstock plant expansions in China.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia’s acetic acid poised for more balance amidst uncertainties
Asia’s acetic acid spot prices may experience comparatively reduced volatility in 2019 because of a more balanced market, although lingering uncertainties on the macroeconomic front will continue to cloud the sentiment of suppliers.

OUTLOOK’19: China acetic acid to continue its fluctuation
China’s acetic acid prices are likely to widely fluctuate and see saw in 2019, following the turbulent trend from last year as a result of erratic supply and demand dynamics.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia fatty alcohols may see support from supply tightness
Asia's fatty alcohols prices may continue to receive upward support from supply tightness in 2019 as a result of some shutdowns in Asia.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia fatty acids to continue tracking palm oil movements
Spot prices of fatty acids in Asia will continue tracking feedstock palm oil prices closely in 2019 as they did in 2018.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia FAE could gain steam in Q1 on some upstream rebounds
Fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAE) import markets in Asia could gain steam on some upstream rebounds and steady demand in the first quarter of 2019.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia PX supply to lengthen on new capacities
Supply of paraxylene (PX) in Asia should gradually lengthen as a result of PX capacity expansion growth,driven by two large production units coming on stream in the key China market this year.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia base oils to remain sluggish on oversupply, falling crude
Asia’s spot import prices for Group II low viscosity 150N as well as high viscosity 500/600N base oils are expected to come under further pressure in the first quarter of 2019 as a result of long supply.

OUTLOOK ’19: China's base oils demand to remain weak; imports to fall further
China’s demand for base oils is expected to decline further in 2019 after falling in 2018 because of a slowing economy while the imports are also likely to fall this year, largely because of start-ups of new domestic capacities.

OUTLOOK ’19: Middle East Group I base oils hoping for better demand
The Middle East base oils market has been struggling with weak demand, supply overhangs and prolonged uncertainty over the last few months but there is hope conditions will improve in 2019.

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

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

OUTLOOK ’19: China MEG market to face pressure on more supply
Supply pressure may build up in China’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) market in 2019 due to a sharp increase in domestic supply and the start-up at a number of major overseas plants.

OUTLOOK ’19: China DEG prices to remain bearish on rising supply
China’s diethylene glycol (DEG) prices are likely to remain bearish in 2019 in the face of rising supply, but the downtrend may be limited as it is approaching three-year lows.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia oxo-alcohols to enjoy some support in Q1
Spot prices for oxo-alcohols in Asia could enjoy some support in the first quarter of the year on restocking ahead of the Lunar New year in the first week of February.

OUTLOOK '19: Southeast Asia MA to track feedstock butane market
Southeast Asia’s maleic anhydride (MA) market is expected to track price movements of feedstock butane, as demand is likely to stay tepid.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia’s methanol sentiment bearish on new capacities
Asia methanol market is poised to see new capacities adding to the global pool of supply that may not allow prices to rebound to high levels seen in 2018.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia’s soda ash prices to stay supported despite Turkish supply
The perennial year end soda ash price spikes in Asia due to tightened supply from China may prevail albeit at a moderated manner as new supply from Turkey was insufficient to meet demand.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia plasticizers spot prices to be supported in Q1
Asia spot prices for plasticizers could some see support in the first quarter of 2019 on restocking ahead of the Lunar New year in the first week of February, and slight thaw in trade tensions between the US and key Asian market of China.

OUTLOOK '19: Asia’s VAM to thrive on European demand, plant shutdowns
Asia’s vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) prices in the first quarter may be underpinned on expectations of demand from Europe and a supply curtailment owing to regional plant shutdowns.

OUTLOOK ’19: Asia-Pacific ethanol market to remain under pressure
The Asia-Pacific market for fuel-grade ethanol and b-grade ethanol is expected to remain depressed in the early months of 2019 as demand has shown little signs of improving.

OUTLOOK ’19: China MMA ample supply to keep pressure on prices
China’s methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply will increase in 2019 on the back of new plant capacity while demand is expected to remain soft to stable that may keep pressure on prices.

OUTLOOK ‘19: China's acrylic acid profitability to hinge broadly on downstream demand
China's acrylic acid market will see new capacities coming onstream in 2019, with the total of such new volumes rising by more than a fifth, underscoring the country's growing supply share in the global market.

OUTLOOK ‘19: Asia's acetone sentiment soft in first half 2019 on supply deluge
Asia's acetone market is likely to remain weak in the first half of 2019 as a result of supply deluge while demand may not see any improvement.

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

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

OUTLOOK ’19: Uncertain crude, policies to curb China's mixed aromatics import market
China’s mixed aromatics import market is likely to come under pressure in 2019 from uncertainties in the crude futures, stricter invoice supervision and environmental measures as well as the boom in domestic reformer start-ups.

OUTLOOK ’19: China gasoline, gasoil market to face pressure on new capacity
Severe oversupply may weigh on China’s gasoline and gasoil prices in 2019, despite export quotas of refined oil products are expected to increase further in the year.