SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The southeast Asian sorbitol market saw higher prices following three weeks of stability, with firmer offers from some producers, market participants said on Wednesday.
Market discussions for some Thailand-origin material loading in September were at around $630/tonne FOB SE Asia towards the close of business on 23 August, they added.
In addition to these offers, deals were also heard done at a similar level.
Producers were keen to raise offers, saying that feedstock tapioca prices are close to bottoming out within the region – especially in Thailand, market players said.
“There is no reason why we should be decreasing our offers since feedstock prices have remained at $340/tonne FOB Bangkok for the past four weeks; we believe that it will rebound soon,” a Thailand-based sorbitol maker said.
The appreciation of several southeast Asian currencies such as the Thai baht against the US dollar is further encouraging makers in this region to increase their FOB export prices as well, since they can garner better netbacks within the local ex-tank and delivered markets.
Gains, however, were ultimately capped by the unwillingness of all buyers to meet sellers’ expectations.This was against a backdrop of more competitively-priced product coming in from regions such as China and India, which were at least $100/tonne lower than the southeast Asia-origin material, according to some importers in the region.