Asia top stories - weekly summary

Source: ICIS News

2019/03/18

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 15 March 2019.

Vietnam PP price gains tempered by slow exports of finished goods
Spot polypropylene (PP) prices in Vietnam have gained considerable ground in recent weeks on tight supply but gains may be tempered by weak demand for finished goods in the export sector.

Pakistan LLDPE, HDPE gains likely to be short-lived as India may resume supply
The recent gains seen in polyethylene (PE) spot import prices in Pakistan are likely to be short-lived, as India gets ready to resume to export cargoes to the country.

Asia BD to remain soft near term on weak Chinese demand
Asia’s butadiene (BD) spot prices may remain flat to soft in the near term due to continued weakness in demand in the key Chinese market.

India LDPE tightness due to domestic outage to persist until May
A tightness in Indian low density polyethylene (LDPE) supply since February following a domestic outage is expected to persist until May, lending support to imports’ demand and prices.

GCC TDI price outlook unclear despite first increase in over a year
Spot import prices of toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) increased for the first time in over a year but whether this marks a reversal in trend is unclear as buying sentiment remains cautious.

Asia epoxy resins facing downward pressure from subdued demand
Asia's epoxy resin prices are facing downward pressure from continuous subdued off take, though that can change because March to May is typically a strong demand season.

Asia ABS offers rise as sellers wager on renewed buying interest
Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market strengthened this week with suppliers targeting higher numbers, citing elevated feedstock costs.

China BG drops on slow demand; buyers cautious
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.

Spot ADA prices for China-origin cargoes fall since early Jan; downtrend likely to sustain
Asian adipic acid (ADA) prices for China-origin cargoes fell for the first time since early January and the downtrend may continue in the near term amid slower-than-expected demand growth.

Europe to Asia MEK arbitrage window opens to ease supply in SE Asia
An arbitrage window from Europe to Asia has opened up that will ease the tight supply in southeast Asia in the wake of Taiwan’s methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) plant's force majeure (FM).

Asia PS sentiment to stay firm on robust demand amid tight supply
Asia’s polystyrene (PS) market sentiment is poised to stay firm in the near term due to support from the downstream appliances sector and limited spot supply.

Asia naphtha fizzles out as ample supply dents sentiment
Asia naphtha markets leaned towards a bearish undertone, with abundant supply and limited demand expected to weigh on sentiment in the coming days, according to market sources.

Asia EVA to stay firm on tightened supply, firm demand
Asia’s ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) spot prices may remain supported by tightened supply due to curtailed output in Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and China, as well as impending plant turnarounds in March and April.

Asia FAE prices to ease on feedstock volatility, healthy supply
Fatty alcohol ethoxylates (FAE) import markets in Asia are expected to nudge down because of weak upstream values and healthy supply.

Asia caustic soda uptrend to continue; supply to tighten
Liquid caustic soda prices in Asia are expected to continue rising in the near term on the back of tighter supply caused by turnarounds, as well as new contract volumes to Australia, and a possible resumption of shipments to India this month.

China’s acetic acid drops to the price level in one and half years
China’s acetic acid prices have touched almost one and half year low and any reversal would depend on the country being able to export cargoes, most likely in the last 10 days of March.

Asia MA prices supported by rising feedstock costs
Southeast Asia maleic anhydride (MA0 prices are expected to stay supported in the weeks to come as a result of higher feedstock butane costs, while supply remains slightly tight.

SE Asia PA prices rising on tight supply and cost pressures
Southeast Asia’s phthalic anhydride (PA) supply will tighten further in the coming months as several key northeast Asian producers prepare for turnarounds in April and May, which may further support prices in the region.

Asia isomer-grade xylene under downward pressure amid long supply
Asia’s isomer-grade mixed xylene (IX) prices have declined for four consecutive sessions amid ample supply and weak downstream market, with the supply surplus situation expected to continue for months.

China PO imports to stay stable-to-soft on bearish conditions
China import market propylene oxide (PO) spot prices are expected to remain stable-to-soft, against a backdrop of supply overhang and sluggish cargo uptake as the downstream polyols sector grapples with weak demand.

GCC PMDI prices to extend recent gains following bullish Asia market
Polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) spot prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are likely to extend recent gains tracking a similar trend in Asia, which was sparked by an increase in offer prices from the main producers.

Asia benzene slips as Chinese demand flags amid high inventory
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.

GCC PMDI prices to extend recent gains following bullish Asia market
Polymeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (PMDI) spot prices in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are likely to extend recent gains tracking a similar trend in Asia, which was sparked by an increase in offer prices from the main producers.

High inventories to weigh down China’s acetone market
China’s acetone market may face further downside risks in 2019 after a bearish 2018 due to high inventory levels.

China propylene prices to fall on demand cut, downstream turnarounds
Domestic propylene prices in Shandong, China, are poised to decline owing to a massive influx of cargoes and reduced demand as many downstream units undergo maintenance works.

Asia MEK surges 15% amid supply disruption in Taiwan
Asia methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) prices surged by 15% week on week due to a sudden disruption of supply in Taiwan – with the upward pressure likely to persist – following a plant outage that could last a few months.

NE Asia C3 markets continue to bemuse, outlook uncertain
Spot propylene markets in northeast Asia look set to track developments in the Shandong domestic market, which continues to see swings but has been on a downtrend since the start of March.