Propylene market in Asia active, unaffected by absence of buyers from China, S Korea

05-Oct-12
Asian propylene prices fell by US$41/mt or 3% from Monday to be assessed at US$1344/mt CFR China on Wednesday despite there being no buyers from China or South Korea, Platts data showed. The market was expected to be subdued this week as China is on a week-long National Day holiday and South Korea is shut on Monday and Wednesday for national holidays. The shutdown of Nippon Shokubai's 460,000 tpa acrylic acid plant at Himeji in western Japan, the biggest in Asia, has impacted the market with Japanese producers and traders offering October and November cargoes at discounted prices. Nippon Shokubai buys around 350,000 tpa of propylene to produce acrylic acid. The plant was shut last Saturday following a massive explosion at an acrylic acid tank that killed one firefighter and injured more than 30 people. This has resulted in a glut of propylene, the feedstock for acrylic acid, in Japan. On Tuesday, October propylene cargoes traded Tuesday at US$1240/mt FOB Japan while H1 November cargoes traded at US$1330-1360/mt CFR China on Tuesday and Wednesday. Propylene producers in Japan continue to maintain run rates at 80-90%, hoping to export.
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