Asia top stories - weekly summary

Author: ICIS Editorial

2019/07/08

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 5 July 2019.

Asia key petrochemical markets slump on prolonged US-China trade war
Key petrochemical markets in Asia have suffered double-digit price declines compared with the same period in 2018, amid shrinking global trade and weakened regional economies as the US-China trade war marks its first year.

China’s garbage classification helps demand for polyolefins, though limited
Shanghai authorities’ garbage sporting campaign has boosted the sales of approved trash bins by several times, though its impact on demand for high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) in China is expected to remain minimal.

China acetone supply glut may continue in July on weak demand
China’s domestic acetone supply glut is expected to continue in July as supply will remain unchanged and demand may weaken due to high temperatures in summer.

Asia nylon buyers replenish inventory after recent price falls
Asia’s nylon buyers have started replenishing inventory after recent sharp price falls, on the back of improved market sentiment.

Asian MA buoyant as sentiment improves amid tighter supplies
Asia import offers for maleic anhydride (MA) rose as sellers’ sentiment took a bullish turn with thinning spot availabilities.

Slowing global economy hurts chemicals demand
Latest data suggest the global economy is continuing to slow down into the second half of the year, with worrying implications for chemicals demand amid rising supply.

China oil products supply expected to remain ample
The supply of domestic oil products in China is expected to remain ample in the near term, as most Shandong-based independent refiners have resumed production.

China’s melamine export prices rebound amid reduced output; oversupply remains
China’s melamine export prices rebounded after prices fell to a record low on the back of falling operating rates, but the supply overhang may weigh on market sentiment.

SBR falls in SE Asia on ample supply and slowing economic growth
Demand for styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) is expected to soften in southeast Asia because of ample supply and slowing manufacturing activities across the region.

Asia soda ash market faces pressure from ample China output
Asia’s soda ash market is expected to remain weighed down by ample supply in China amid rising output following completion of plant turnarounds.

China’s MLLDPE market holds steady despite bullish commodity PE sector
The Chinese metallocene linear low-density polyethylene (MLLDPE) market remains unperturbed by bullishness brewing in the commodity polyethylene (PE) sector.

Chinese MEK sentiment cautiously optimistic after US-China temporary truce
Chinese methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) sentiment was cautiously optimistic as China-based manufacturers welcomed the news of a truce in the year-long trade war between US and China, with a freeze on further tariffs following the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on 29 June 2019.

Asia ABS firm in cautious trade; suppliers target higher numbers
Asia’s acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) prices were firm, with suppliers continuing to target higher numbers.

China gasoline demand to pick up in July in peak summer season
China’s gasoline demand is expected to improve in July in hotter months that will boost trading, while international buying of the material is also likely stabalise during the peak season.

Asia benzene sentiment robust post-G20, open arbitrage
The market sentiment in Asia benzene has become robust on the back of buoyant energy markets, after the US and China agreed on a trade truce at the G20 summit in Japan in late June.

Asia ACN to be under pressure on supply increase, poor demand
Asia's acrylonitrile (ACN) market is expected to weighed by a potential supply increase and prevailing sluggish demand. Buying from China to be subdued
Spot ACN prices have fallen by 16% since end May to $1,650-1,750/tonne CFR NE Asia in the week ended 28 June, ICIS data showed.

Asian epoxy resins' demand outlook uncertain on weak economic data
The demand outlook for Asian epoxy resins is nebulous at this juncture, as dismal regional economic data almost erodes market confidence.

Asia June industries weaken; China poses strong downside risks
Asia’s manufacturing activity weakened in June as the US-China trade war continued to dampen business sentiment, with heightened downside risks from China’s economic slowdown, according to analysts.

China MOP supply to fall in July on fewer Russian imports
Supply of muriate of potash (MOP) or potassium chloride in China is expected to fall in July as competitive local prices discourage imports from Russia amid a pick-up in domestic demand.

Asia BPA prices sink to 21-month low on tepid demand
The Asia bisphenol A (BPA) market slumped to a 21-month low amid downbeat import demand, although this could be countered by plant turnarounds gradually crimping supply.

SE Asia PA inches up on firmer upstream; weak demand may curb upside
Southeast Asian phthalic anhydride (PA) prices improved with upstream firmness in the week of 28 June, stemming five weeks of consecutive losses.

China MOP supply to fall in July on fewer Russian imports
Supply of muriate of potash (MOP) or potassium chloride in China is expected to fall in July as competitive local prices discourage imports from Russia amid a pick-up in domestic demand.

Asia BPA prices sink to 21-month low on tepid demand
The Asia bisphenol A (BPA) market slumped to a 21-month low amid downbeat import demand, although this could be countered by plant turnarounds gradually crimping supply.

SE Asia PA inches up on firmer upstream; weak demand may curb upside
Southeast Asian phthalic anhydride (PA) prices improved with upstream firmness in the week of 28 June, stemming five weeks of consecutive losses.