May delivery crude oil prices ended the week of April 6, 2009 at US$52.6 on the Nymex. Brent crude also ended at similar levels, rising as world leaders announced measures to fight the global recession at the G20 meet in London. The leaders at G20 pledged over US$1 trillion in emergency aid mitigate the global meltdown, promising to implement new rules on compensation and bonuses, expand controls on hedge funds. Mid week, prices dipped by over one dollar on news of rise in US inventory levels by 2.8 mln barrels to 359.4 mln barrels for the week ended March 27 - levels not seen since July 1993.
Despite a steady uptrend in oil prices steady, naphtha prices have dipped marginally to US$465/MT on muted demand in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. As demand seems to be on the revival track, a marginal supply shortage is expected in the region, notwithstanding advent of almost 700,000 tons cargoes from Europe.
Ethylene prices have spiked to US$685/MT FOB Korea, US$745 CFR levels in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. Prices are heading north in Asia on the back of restricted supplies and rising feedstock prices in the face of demand recovery in India and China, that is leading to restocking. Several producers in South Korea and Japan are running their crackers at full throttle in the face of recovering domestic demand.
As supplies tighten in the region, propylene prices have seen a spurt to US$885/MT FOB Korea in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. Market outlook remains robust on optimistic downstream demand and prices.
STYRENE MONOMER prices have spiked by over 50 dollars in the week of April 6, 2009 to US$975 in Asia. With this, prices have been elevated by over 100 dollars higher in the past 2 weeks as downstream demand picks up and input costs are on an uptrend. Market players seem to have paused at these high levels, as both buyers and sellers have adopted a wait and watch policy in anticipation of a favourable price movement. Benzene prices have steadied at US$590/MT FOB Korea. Despite stability in benzene markets, restricted avails in Japan have supported SM prices.
Under dual forces of rising feedstock ethylene and EDC costs and strengthening downstream PVC prices, VCM prices have risen to US$575/MT in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. As market outlook continue to be bullish, sellers plan to increase offers by about 20 dollars.
Rising ethylene values and optimistic downstream sentiments have pushed up EDC prices in Asia to US$285/MT in the week of April 6, 2009.
As demand in Asia, particularly India and China continues to recover, HDPE prices have notched up to US$1055/MT CFR China in the week of April 6, 2009. After successful conclusion of deals at these levels, sellers are holding back May offers, and are mulling a 40-50 dollar price hike as demand strengthens. As most Middle East plants scheduled to come onstream, have been delayed, and demand continues to get robust, higher prices could sustain for the next 2-3 months.
Moving in tandem with HDPE, CFR China LDPE prices have risen to US$1050/MT in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. Absence of May shipment offers from sellers has led to a calm in the market. As demand continues on a recovery path, a price hike in anticipated along with that of HDPE and LLDPE. Market remains muted as sellers mull their offer price.
Swelling HDPE values are improving LLDPE prices in Asia to US$1055/MT CFR China in the week of April 6, 2009. After successful conclusion of deals at these levels, May shipment offers from the Middle East have been hiked to US$1060, while those from South Korea are hovering around US$1100/MT.
Under the dual influence of rising propylene costs and restricted avails in the region, PP prices have increased by over 50 dollars to US$1035/MT in the week of April 6, 2009. After successful conclusion of deals at these levels, offers for end of month shipment were heard another 20-50 dollars higher, skirting around the 1100 dollar mark. As most Middle East plants scheduled to come onstream have been delayed, and demand from packaging, agriculture and electronics increases, higher prices could sustain for the next 2-3 months. The start up of Japan Polypropylene Corp.'s 300 tpa polypropylene plant at Kajima, scheduled to come onstream, has been delayed, while Honam Petrochemical Corp has shuttered its PP plants for an undisclosed period.
As local prices in China increase, PVC prices inched up to US$675/MT in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009. Several plants are scheduled to close for annual maintenance in the coming months, leading to supply constraints. This is expected to result in increased prices for May shipment, hence several players have not quoted offers.
Restricted avails in China coupled with rising feedstock costs are exerting pressure on GPPS prices in Asia. GPPS prices continued north, rising to US$1075/MT CFR China in the week of April 6, 2009, while HIPS moved up to US$1205/MT. After deal conclusion of these levels, CFR China offers surged by 20-25 dollars triggered by progressing demand from China's furniture sector. As the peak demand season has been recently kicked off, polystyrene prices are estimated to keep rising in sync with rising feedstock costs.
ABS prices have spiked to US$1390/MT in Asia in the week of April 6, 2009 on persistent demand particularly form China and India, along with rising input costs and limited availability of supplies. After deal conclusion for April shipment at these levels, offers have spiked past the 1400 mark, while few sellers from Taiwan and South Korea could mull an additional fifty dollar price hike for May.