Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock and commodity polymers in Asia for the week ended August 3, 2009

CRUDE OIL Crude oil prices ended the week of August 3, 2009 at US$66.5 on the Nymex. Crude oil for September delivery was down 2.2% in the week of August 3, 2009, heading for its first weekly decline since July 10. Crude oil has fallen on concerns of slow recovery in fuel demand in the U.S. Earlier in the week, oil prices climbed after better-than-expected corporate earnings and on news that jobless claims held below June levels. Analysts feel that this movement in oil prices can be majorly attributed to macro-economic factors more than oil market fundamentals. NAPHTHA Naphtha prices rose to US$600/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009, rising in line with robust crude oil sentiments on optimistic data on corporate performances and jobless claims. After weakening by about thirty dollars, open-spec naphtha for H1 September shipment ended the week at the six hundred dollar mark. ETHYLENE Despite robust naphtha values, ethylene prices weakened to US$985/MT FOB Korea in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. Prices continued to deteriorate on subdued demand from China this week, weakened by scanty production margins for the downstream sector and unenthusiastic demand in anticipation of a supply glut from the Middle East. PROPYLENE Restricted supplies continue, propping up propylene prices to US$1070/MT FOB Korea in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. Cracker outages in Europe and reduced run rates at several plants in the region have restricted propylene supply, leading to higher spot prices despite soft demand. Next month shipment being offered about 25-30 dollars higher, has met with buyers reluctance due to the uncertainty in oil price movement. STYRENE MONOMER Styrene Monomer prices in Asia have spiked to US$1070/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. FOB Korea prices have witnessed a more than 25 dollar jump for September shipment in line with rising input costs-as benzene prices have risen to US$860/MT this week. Several offers for SM firmed up, leading to deal conclusion at US$1100/MT CFR levels. EDC Restricted avails in the region coupled with marginally improved demand has pushed up EDC prices in Asia. Next month shipment EDC prices rose to US$495/MT CFR China in the week of August 3, 2009. Supply constraints have propped up sellers offers by an additional fifty dollars, while buying intentions linger at the current price levels. VCM August shipment CFR China VCM prices have stagnated at US$720/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. As input EDC costs rise, and stockpiles shrink, sellers plan to hike offers for next month. POLYMERS HDPE HDPE prices increased to US$1295/MT CFR China in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009 on firm offers from sellers. Deals for cargoes from the Middle East were concluded at US$1275/MT levels, and buying interest was muted in anticipation of price correction in line with volatile crude values. Though demand from processors in China continued to be unenthusiastic, sellers offers hovered around the 1300 dollar mark for film/yarn grade. LDPE Despite conclusion of deals for August shipment, LDPE prices rose to US$1290/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. August shipment CFR China offers from Malaysia heard last week at US$1290/MT, and at US$1300/MT from South Korea, were concluded. After successful conclusion of most deals at the US$1300 mark, CFR China offers from Qatar were hiked to hover around US$1315/MT levels. LLDPE LLDPE markets remained muted, stabilizing August shipment CFR China prices at US$1265/MT in the week of August 3, 2009. Few deal were concluded about 10-15 dollars higher, but broad market sentiments showed lethargy from buyers. POLYPROPYLENE Robust propylene prices and market sentiments did not much influence polypropylene prices in this week. PP prices stayed at US$1155/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009 as offers were conspicuous by their absence since most August shipment deals were concluded. Deals were concluded for yarn/injection grade from Middle East at these levels, and marginally higher for BOPP. CFR China offers for yarn/injection grade from South Korea were heard at US$1185/MT and about 20 dollars higher from Taiwan. POLYVINYL CHLORIDE Lackluster buying sentiments coupled with conclusion of most deals for August shipment has kept Polyvinyl chloride prices down. PVC prices dipped to US$900/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. Deals were concluded for August shipment cargoes from USA at US$900-915/MT and about 15 dollars higher from Japan. GPPS GPPS prices rose to US$1175/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009 on improved market sentiments. As input costs increase, buying intentions have revived in the region. August shipment CFR China sellers offers hovered below US$1200/MT mark for GPPS and at US$12550/MT for HIPS, while buying bids were pegged about 20-25 dollars lower for GPPS and at US$1225-1245/MT for HIPS. ABS Firming up prices of feedstock butadiene, ACN and SM have up ABS prices to US$1420/MT in Asia in the week of August 3, 2009. However, very limited offers for next month shipment were heard, as most deals were concluded for August shipment. The market awaits offers for September shipment, expected to be up revised in line with rising input costs.
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