Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock and commodity polymers in Asia for the week ended October 11, 2010-10-13

CRUDE OIL Crude oil prices ended the week of October 11, 2010 at US$82/barrel levels. Midweek, oil prices rose to near US$83 as investors anticipated action from the US Fed bank to bolster a weak economic recovery. The next day, oil prices had a marginal dip as markets started focusing on the forthcoming week’s OPEC meet in Vienna to discuss its latest output, production quotas and output compliance issues. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for November ended the week at US$82.4, while Brent North Sea crude fell to US$83.6 a barrel. NAPHTHA Naphtha prices in Asia have spiked to US$745/MT in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010, in line with rising crude oil values. Mid-week, open spec naphtha for H2-November rose to US$758/ton, its highest level since May 10. Formosa Petrochemical Corp has idled No. 2 naphtha cracker for a 40-day maintenance. One of its’ other crude distillation units, shut in late July following an outage, will restart around mid-October. ETHYLENE Ethylene prices rose to US$1135/MT in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010, in line with rising crude and naphtha values. Also propping up the markets was expected buoyancy in derivative markets. PROPYLENE Propylene prices inched up to US$1130/MT in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010. Prices have firmed amid rising crude and naphtha values as well as robust sentiments, post-holidays, in global PP markets. EDC EDC prices have increased to US$525/MT in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010 amid strong downstream VCM and PVC markets and anticipated increase for November shipment offers. VCM Amid rising EDC values and strong PVC market sentiments and outlook, VCM prices have inched up to US$840/MT in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010. STYRENE MONOMER As input costs rise, SM prices have complied, moving up to US$1260/MT amid higher sellers offers. Feedstock benzene mounted to US$925/MT on increased seller’s offers. POLYMERS HDPE A day after the Chinese National Day holidays, most sellers in China elected to lift their offer levels amid higher feedstock prices, on the back of tight availabilities. Just before the holidays, overall buying interest had picked up as sellers accelerated purchases in a bid to build up some stocks in anticipation of increases post-holidays. A hike of 20-35 dollars was heard in offers from a Chinese producer for HDPE film in the week of October 11, 2010. LDPE On return from the National Day holidays, most sellers in China have chosen to raise offers corresponding with higher input costs and tight supplies. A Chinese producer has hiked offers by US$30-65/MT, the week of October 11, 2010. Certain amount of buoyancy was seen in the markets pre-holidays as sellers increased their purchases to build inventory levels in anticipation of price hikes following the holiday period. LLDPE Most sellers in China elected to lift their offer levels amid tight avails and high feedstock costs. Hectic buying as part of stock building by sellers was seen pre-holidays, in anticipation of a price hike. Offers were hiked by Chinese producers by US$25-80/MT, the week of October 11, 2010. A trader issued a US$75/MT increase on locally held offers for Chinese, Thai and Middle Eastern origins amid restricted avails. POLYPROPYLENE Post-National holidays, amid optimistic market sentiments, domestic producers have returned with increases of USUS$15-40/MT while traders have hiked offers by US$40-60/MT in the week of October 11, 2010. Sellers are optimistic about the market sentiments and outlook despite the currently sluggish trading activities. At the start of this week, Chinese players who have started to return to their desks are faced with price hikes on homo-PP prices, which caused the sentiment in other global PP markets including Southeast Asia and Turkey to shift this week, as per Chemorbis. In China’s PP market, both regional and overseas producers revealed higher offers for November, with traders following the same pricing strategy. The upward rally in China also affected the sentiment in Southeast Asia. Finding further support from limited availability because of a number of plant shutdowns across the region, sellers are now watching the developments in the Chinese market in order to see the feasibility of a firming trend in the days ahead. POLYVINYL CHLORIDE PVC prices have firmed in the week of October 11, 2010 in line with rising input costs and increased offers for November shipment. Pre-holidays; supply issues driven by the ongoing electricity restrictions, pushed the local acetylene based PVC prices up US$30-50/MT and ethylene based PVC by US$10-35/MT. Post-holiday, Chinese producers highlight that they are not under inventory pressure and that they are mulling lifting their prices in line with the market outlook in the upcoming days. POLYSTYRENE GPPS prices have firm in Asia in the week of October 11, 2010 amid mounting feedstock costs. Rising input costs compel producers to hike offers to cover up rising production costs. Traders are also building up stocks in anticipation of higher offer levels. ABS ABS prices have risen to US$1975/MT amid a sharp hike in feedstock costs.
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