Asia top stories - weekly summary

Author: ICIS Editorial

2019/08/19

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 16 August 2019.

China fuel market unlikely to see significant improvement in August
Trade in China’s fuel market is unlikely to improve significantly in August as domestic buyers are expected to adopt a cautious stance in anticipation of lower retail ceiling prices and because of the uncertain economic outlook.

Asia PBR demand to remain soft on auto sector slump, trade war
Demand in polybutadiene rubber (PBR) in Asia is expected to remain soft due to the slump in the automotive sector which has been heavily weighed by the ongoing US-China trade war.

Asia IPA market bullish; demand struggles to keep up
Asia isopropanol (IPA) supply is tightening but demand is expected to remain soft weighing on bullish market sentiment. The market was bullish partly also on strong upstream acetone values but soft demand is curbing this sentiment.

Asian PA falls as demand falters; spot supply may tighten
Asian import prices for phthalic anhydride (PA) fell across the board as sellers dangled wider discounts to induce sales before August trades come to a close.

Asian MA softens on thin buying interest, potentially longer supply
Asian import offers for maleic anhydride (MA) are down as sellers sought to generate buying interest.

Restocking to support Asia EPDM market after price falls since early year
Restocking activities may provide support to the Asia ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) market, where prices have fallen since the beginning of the year.

China's July economic data points to further weakness in growth
China’s recent slew of negative macroeconomic data for July points to further weakness in its growth outlook for this year despite the delay in the US’s implementation of the 10% additional tariffs on some of the $200bn of Chinese goods.

Spot methanol supply in China’s Shandong to reduce in August
Spot methanol available for sale in China's Shandong province is expected to drop significantly in August because of operational cutbacks, maintenance shutdowns at multiple local plants and limited inflows from other provinces.

Asia ABS slumps on poor demand, outlook cautious on trade war jitters
Asia's acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) market has remained in the downtrend as trade war jitters continue to dampen sentiment.

China BD demand softens on operating rates cut at downstream units
Chinese butadiene (BD) demand is expected to soften as downstream sectors cut operating rates due to cost pressure.

China SBR torn between high feedstock costs and gloomy demand
China’s styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) market is set to be torn between poor downstream demand and the continued rise in feedstock butadiene (BD) costs.

India 9-month auto industry downturn affects ancillary trade, petchems
India’s nine-month long demand slump in automobile industry - July sales dipping to its lowest level in 20 years - has affected the auto components and ancillary industries including petrochemicals triggering job cuts and production slowdown.

Asia oxo-alcohols could trend in different directions across grades
Oxo-alcohols prices in Asia could experience mixed fortunes in the coming weeks as n-butanol (NBA) supply could tighten while demand for 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) is set to remain fairly subdued.