Asia top stories - weekly summary

Author: ICIS Editorial

2019/04/15

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 12 April 2019.

Explosion at PETRONAS' Pengerang complex injures two; fire extinguished
The fire at PETRONAS’ Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in southern Johor has been extinguished with investigations still ongoing on the cause and extent of the incident which injured two security personnel at the site, according to local police.

Iran's C2 suppliers seek export outlets after pipeline shutdown
Ethylene (C2) producers in flood-hit Iran are seeking to export cargoes after domestic downstream plants lowered operation due to damages to a major ethylene pipeline, market sources said on Wednesday.

China’s local PE import prices rise on tight Iranian shipments
The effect from the outage at Iran's West Ethylene Pipeline is keenly felt in polyethylene-deficit China, where domestic prices are on an upward trajectory amidst supply disruptions from the US-sanctioned country.

INTERACTIVE: China drags down growth prospects for rest of Asia
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.

India acetone market bearish pre-elections; US ADD probe weighs
India’s acetone market outlook is subdued ahead of the country’s general elections, and amid abundant Asian supply due to ongoing US’ anti-dumping duty (ADD) investigation on imports from five origins, including Singapore and South Korea.

TiO2 market in China to remain buoyant on upbeat demand
Sentiment in the titanium dioxide (TiO2) market in China is expected to get support from renewed buying interest in the domestic and export fronts.

Asia naphtha backwardation shrinking as demand ebbs
Asia naphtha’s market structure shrank in backwardation as regional demand is easing following disruptions at a downstream aromatics facility in Taiwan following an explosion, resulting in a lack of bullish expectations for the coming days.

Asia ACN to resume upward momentum as tight supply prevails
Asia’s acrylonitrile (ACN) prices may resume their upward momentum after three weeks of stability, as spot supply remained limited and could tighten further due to upcoming plant turnarounds.

Asia freight rates poised to soften on poor sentiment
Freight rates on most Asian routes are poised to soften in the near term due to poor sentiment from charters and abundant tonnage spaces available.

Asia benzene remains on uptrend on US arbitrage play, plant outage
Asia benzene market will remain bullish as the spot East-West arbitrage remains in play, and amid supply concerns following the closure of aromatics unit after an explosion at Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation (FCFC) plant on 7 April in a gas pipeline.