Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock and commodity polymers in Asia for the week ended May 5, 2008

08-May-08
CRUDE OIL Crude oil prices dipped by about two dollars in the week of May 5, 2008 to US$116 per barrel. This dip in prices can be attributed to rising levels of US weekly inventories and a recovery in US dollar values. Mid way through the week, crude oil for June delivery dipped to US$112.52 a barrel on Thursday, before recovering to US$116. NAPHTHA After peaking past US$970/MT a fortnight ago, naphtha prices dipped to US$940/MT in the week of May 5, 2008, in line with falling crude oil values. Open-spec naphtha prices for H!-June delivery closed at US$940/MT CNF Japan. ETHYLENE Lack of buying movement in the markets of Asia have stagnated ethylene prices at US$1400/MT in the week of May 5, 2008. Key producers in Asia plan to ramp up production, leading to an improvement in supply. Formosa's 700,000 tpa no.1 cracker has increased capacity from 60% to 90%, slated to reach 100% capacity soon. South Korea's Lotte Daesan has complete expansion of naphtha capacity from 650,000 tpa to 1,000,000 tpa, and plans to restart the cracker towards the end on the week. Expecting an improvement in the supply scenario and prices, most buyers prefer to wait and watch avoiding buying at the current higher values. PROPYLENE Restricted supplies in Asia coupled with higher feedstock values have kept propylene prices higher at US$1400/MT in the week of May 5, 2008. Selling intention for cargoes for May shipment from South Korea are being indicated at above US$1400/MT FOB Korea. VCM Markets of VCM in Asia were lackluster and stagnated at last week's US$955/MT in the week of May 5, 2008. Very little movement was seen in the markets as sellers offers were awaited, and buying intentions were missing. Most sellers have preferred to put on hold any firm offers for June shipment, as unrelenting naphtha and crude values are expected to take their toll on prices. EDC Markets of EDC in Asia were lackluster and stagnated at last week's US$445/MT in the week of May 5, 2008. Very little movement was seen in the markets as sellers offers were awaited, and buying intentions were missing. STRENE MONOMER Styrene Monomer prices in Asia rose to US$1440/MT in the week of May 5, 2008, in line with rising feedstock benzene and ethylene markets. Prices for June shipment are estimated to rise by over twenty dollars. POLYMERS HDPE HDPE prices stabilized at US$1620/MT in Asia in the week of May 5, 2008, as buyers continue to stockpile in wait for arrival of cargoes from USA. Most suppliers have increased May offers upto US$1640/MT CFR China, as arrival of deep-sea cargoes from USA has been currently delayed. LDPE LDPE markets did not show much movement in Asia in the week of week of May 5, 2008 as Asian producers' attempts to hike May offers was thwarted by buyers from China. LDPE prices stagnated at US$1780/MT in Asia in the week of May 5, 2008. Faced with limited supplies, SE Asian producers have quoted May offers at US$1820/MT CFR China, while May offers have been hiked by Saudi Arabian producers to US$1800/MT CFR China. LLDPE LLDPE prices stabilized at last weeks US$1645/MT in the week of May 5, 2008 as the market awaits sellers offers for May. PP Several sellers have revised polypropylene offers for May in line with robust feedstock prices. PP prices have risen to US$1590/MT in Asia in the week of May 5, 2008. Offers from producers in Taiwan, South Korea, India continue to be revised upwards. PVC Poly Vinyl chloride prices did not show movement and stagnated at US$1170/MT due to lackluster market sentiments in Asia in the week of May 5, 2008. Markets remained listless as most suppliers have closed deals for May shipment. Better market conditions prevailed in non-Asian countries, where offers were heard above US$1200/MT FOB due to restricted supplies. Offers for next month are estimated to rise as suppliers continue to be faced with rising upstream energy and ethylene prices. GPPS Amid lack of firm offers from sellers and absence of buying intentions, GPPS markets of Asia witnessed no movement as prices stagnated at US$1500/MT in the week of May 5, 2008. Under pressure from rising feedstock values, most sellers continue to quote higher prices. ABS Higher costs of feedstock SM, butadiene and ACN have pushed up ABS offers for May shipment to US$1870/MT in Asia in the week of May 5, 2008. Even as buying intentions are scarce, major suppliers from South Korea and Taiwan plan to hike May offers up to US$1900/MT CFR China levels in line with rising costs.
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