Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock and commodity polymers in Asia for the week ended May 19, 2008

21-May-08
CRUDE OIL Crude oil prices continued to rise, hovering around US$126 per barrel in New York in the week of May 19, 2008. Prices gained by less than one dollar this week on forecast of growing global demand. A week of falling crude oil prices ended abruptly on Friday as speculator interest caused prices to surge on the New York Mercantile Exchange. NAPHTHA Naphtha prices in Asia jumped to US$1025/MT in the week of May 19, 2008. This rise of almost twenty dollars is in line with robust crude prices. ETHYLENE Ethylene markets of Asia maintained last weeks' price level of US$1420/MT in the week of May 19, 2008. The supply situation that was expected to ease this week, continued to remain stringent. Despite restart of production at three naphtha crackers of S.Korea's YNCC (that were shut after unexpected outages due to a power failure) the company has suspended/ delayed exports for May shipment. Lotte Daesan restarted its expanded naphtha cracker in South Korea successfully. This is expected to ease the supply situation in the coming weeks, prompting the buyers to adopt a wait and watch policy. PROPYLENE Propylene market gained strength in Asia, rising to US$1450/MT in the week of May 19, 2008 as supplies continued to be restrained. Despite restart of production at three naphtha crackers of S.Korea's YNCC (that were shut after unexpected outages due to a power failure) the company has suspended/ delayed exports for May shipment. Selling intentions were fifty dollars more than buyers bids. VCM Lackluster market sentiments kept VCM prices stagnant at last weeks' US$955/MT in the week of May 19, 2008, as the market awaits offers for June cargoes. Most VCM suppliers have not quoted June cargoes as they prefer to idle time until settlement of June PVC prices between Asian PVC producers and Chinese buyers. Keeping in view the swelling naphtha prices coupled by a tight supply scenario due to plant shutdowns on account of annual turnarounds in Asia during May and June, several players anticipate an increase by almost fifty dollars in CFR China June offers. EDC Increasing demand from China marginally boosted EDC prices by five dollars to US$450/MT in the week of May 19, 2008. As feedstock ethylene prices spike past US$1400/MT CFR Asia raising production costs, EDC makers plan to hike offers. Even as suppliers held back offers for June, selling intention was indicated at above US$460/MT CFR China. STYRENE MONOMER Robust demand has firmed up Styrene Monomer prices at US$1515/MT in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008. Feedstock benzene prices moved up to US$1240/MT levels in line with strong energy values. POLYMERS HDPE Restricted supplies and increased feedstock values have led to stronger HDPE markets in Asia. HDPE offers rose to US$1640/MT in the week of May 19, 2008. CFR China offers for June by Asian producers are up by US$20-30/MT. Attempts by Taiwanese manufacturer to raise offers for June shipment by forty dollars was met with lukewarm response from the buyers. LDPE LDPE prices inched up to US$1790/MT in Asia the week of May 19, 2008. Realisation of better margins have prompted several producers to switch from LDPE production to EVA. This has led to a LDPE supply shortage for May shipment in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008. Suppliers are expected to raise offers for June as the situation of restricted supply is expected to persist. LLDPE LLDPE Prices for May shipment rose to US$1660/MT in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008, on the back of limited supplies. Prices are expected to rise further as deep-sea cargoes were heard hovering at higher levels. PP Restricted supplies and increased feedstock propylene values have sent polypropylene prices spiraling to US$1650/MT in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008. June offers have been hiked by sellers by almost forty dollars. Offers from producers in India, Taiwan as well as South Korea have been hiked around US$1670/MT CFR China. Deep-sea cargoes from USA were traded at US$1620-1630/MT CFR China with June shipment terms. PVC As the market awaits fresh offers for June, PVC prices stagnated at US$1170/MT as markets in Asia remained lackluster in the week of May 19, 2008. Prices will be impacted by robust demand and higher feedstock values. Despite an anticipated twenty dollar price hike for June, both buyers and sellers preferred to wait and watch. Very little buying from China is expected at this price level, but, in a bid for better price realization, suppliers plan to divert cargoes to the Middle East, Africa and Europe. GPPS Rising in line with robust feedstock values, GPPS prices spiked to US$1545/MT in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008. Rising feedstock benzene and styrene, as well as oil values continue to exert pressure on May offers. ABS Rising oil and feedstock values continue to exert pressure on ABS prices. ABS prices have spiked by almost forty dollars to US$1920/MT in Asia in the week of May 19, 2008. Selling intentions have been hiked further upto US$2000/MT CFR in line with soaring input costs. However, cargoes have not been liquidated at such high levels, and continue to be met with buying interest pegged at no more than US$1950/MT CFR China.
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