Asia top stories – weekly summary

ICIS Editorial


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 25 November 2022.

China’s weak phenol imports to prompt deeper output cuts in Asia
China’s phenol imports are being weighed down by a combination of ample domestic supply, rising COVID-19 caseloads, easing upstream markets, and the absence of restocking ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in late January.

NE Asia ethylene output to remain weak up to at least H1 2023
Northeast Asia’s ethylene production is expected to be constricted by heavy cracker turnarounds, poor margins and weak downstream demand up to at least the first half of 2023.

Malaysian shares rally as Anwar appointed as new prime minister
Malaysian shares rallied on Thursday following news that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was appointed as the country’s new prime minister, ending a five-day political impasse.

SE Asia PE market dazed by China stop-start demand
Initial spot import offers for December shipments of polyethylene (PE) in southeast Asia were announced in the same range as the previous week’s assessment or softer this week, with market players baffled by the stop-start nature of China’s demand for PE.

Saudi Arabia’s SABIC to study oil-to-chemicals complex in Ras Al-Khair
Saudi Arabia state-owned chemicals major SABIC on Thursday announced its intention to study the establishment of a complex to convert oil and liquids into chemicals in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia. The complex is expected to convert 400,000 bbl/day of oil into chemicals, the company said in a filing on the Saudi bourse, Tadawul.

S Korea unionised truckers’ strike begins; may disrupt petrochemical ops anew
South Korea’s unionised cargo truck drivers began a nationwide strike on Thursday, potentially disrupting petrochemical production and logistics operations across the country.

INSIGHT: Gasoline blending dynamics driving Asia MX and toluene
Mixed xylenes (MX) and toluene prices in the second half of 2022 have notably become decoupled from, or even defied, the dynamics of theIr downstream counterparts and moved more in line with gasoline blending economics.

IMF urges China to further recalibrate COVID-19 strategy
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged China to further recalibrate its COVID-19 strategy and provide additional support to its beleaguered property sector to mitigate risks from a global economic slowdown.

South Korea bracing for another truckers’ strike from 24 November
South Korea’s unionised cargo truck drivers are planning to stage an indefinite nationwide strike for the second time this year starting 24 November, potentially causing manufacturing and supply chain disruptions at major petrochemical sites.

Falling crude, feedstocks weigh on NE Asia polyester; outlook bearish
The recent declines in crude and feedstock prices have weighed on the spot polyester export market in northeast Asia, with the year-end outlook bearish.

China plans CNY200bn refinancing to help delivery of pre-sold homes
China’s central bank is planning to provide yuan (CNY) 200bn interest-free refinancing to commercial banks to encourage them to support delivery of unfinished homes, the official Xinhua news outlet reported.

Crude, China petrochemical futures, shares tumble on demand concerns
Crude prices were extending their losses on Monday, with declines in China equities and petrochemical futures markets, due to demand concerns amid continued lockdowns in the world’s second-biggest economy caused by rising COVID-19 cases.

Yansab to shut Saudi complex for 53 days in ’23 amid poor global demand
Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) plans to shut its complex in Saudi Arabia at the start of 2023, for nearly two months of turnaround amid weakening global demand.


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