NE Asia propylene buying indications increase for July shipments

13 June 2017 08:04 Source:ICIS News

Container port at Qingdao, China

FUZHOU, China (ICIS)--Indicative prices for spot July propylene cargoes in northeast Asia were higher this week, buoyed up by firmer domestic Chinese prices and amid plant outages in South Korea.

Buying indications increased by about $10/tonne this week to $830/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia.

While no firm offers were heard, there were talks that sellers could be targeting as high as $860/tonne CFR NE Asia, an increase of some $20/tonne from the ICIS-assessed prices on 9 June.

In China, domestic propylene prices in Shandong on 12 June were at yuan (CNY) 6,800-6,870/tonne ($1,000-1,010/tonne) ex-tank, up from CNY6,650-6,750/tonne ex-tank on 9 June, largely driven up by firmer values in downstream polypropylene (PP) spot and futures markets.

Supply of propylene in northeast Asia (ex-China) has tightened, with two facilities in South Korea currently down.

Korea Petrochemical Industry Co (KPIC) is still in the process of restarting its newly-expanded cracker in Onsan on Monday, more than a week since completing a scheduled shutdown at the unit, due to technical issues.

The cracker will have around 400,000 tonnes/year of propylene capacity after expansion from 250,000 tonnes/year previously, according to a company source.

SK Advanced, meanwhile, shut its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Ulsan on the night of 11 June due to a technical issue, according to market sources.

The plant with a propylene capacity of 600,000 tonnes/year is expected to be down for around five to seven days, and may have to delay a portion of its term shipments from June to July/August, they said.

Asia propylene 13 June

($1 = CNY6.80)

Picture: Container port in Qingdao, China (Source: REX/Shutterstock)

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By Joson Ng