Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock and commodity polymers in Asia for the week of December 1, 2008

02-Dec-08
CRUDE OIL Crude oil moved up by over 9% mid week, rising above US$54 on news of interest rate cut by China to stimulate the domestic economy. However, oil prices ended the week of December 1, 2008 at US$52 a barrel on news of a decision by OPEC to defer output reduction until December 17 while it gauges the impact of a 1.5 mln barrel reduction decided in October. NAPHTHA Naphtha prices in Asia moved above US$300 in line with rising crude oil values in the week of December 1, 2008. This marks an increase of over fifty dollars since last week. Open-spec naphtha values for H1-Jan shipment was at US$320/MT CNF Japan. ETHYLENE Shored up by rising crude and naphtha values and reduced supplies, ethylene prices in Asia rose to US$400/MT in the week of December 1, 2008. Several key producers in Asia have announced plant shutdowns thereby eliminating over 470,000 ton/month of ethylene output in the region. Formosa had shut a unit producing 1.2 mln tpa, Yeochun NCC shut one unit reducing capacity by 50% at its 1.8 mln tpa complex and SK Energy shut one of its two naphtha crackers in October for the first time in its 35-year operation until March/April. This has resulted in restricted supplies, somewhat correcting prices in the face of weak demand. Despite restricted supplies, sellers are finding it difficult to find takers for December shipment offered about fifty dollars higher. CFR Asia buying intentions continue to be pegged at the four hundred dollar mark, even as sellers are hiking their offers to range at US$450-500 due to limited spot cargoes. PROPYLENE Propylene prices in Asia have edged up to US$465/MT in the week of December 1, 2008, mainly on restricted supplies. Reduction in run rates by key Asian producers has resulted in marginal price improvement due to limited supplies despite weak demand. In a bid to get the deteriorating markets on track, several key Asian producers have reduced naphtha run rates to 70-80%. This pulling out of East Asia's total capacity has helped the players to cope with low demand in the continent. STYRENE MONOMER Sustained by rising feedstock benzene values, Styrene Monomer January shipment prices have moved up to US$555/MT CFR China in Asia in the week of December, 1, 2008. As benzene spiked by fifty dollars in the week, sellers CFR offers for SM were hiked to almost US$575/MT. Benzene prices have been propped up by rising oil and naphtha values as well as restricted supplies in the region. YNCC has pulled the shutters at its 120,000 tpa No.3 BTX plant at Yeosu and continues to run operations at the No.1 and No.2 BTX plants at a reduction of 40%. Indonesia's TPPI has already suspended BTX production of 350,000 tpa. BASF-YPC has announced a one week long maintenance turnaround at its BTX plant with benzene capacity of 150,000 tpa. Certain Thai benzene maker is also known to have reduced run rates by 25% this month. VCM As the market awaits this months' offers, VCM prices stagnated in Asia at US$420/MT in the week of December 1, 2008. As production costs as well as feedstock ethylene costs rise, VCM makers plan a twenty dollar price hike for this month. The optimism in pricing is also fueled by a recent rise in PVC prices, indicating a bullish end user market outlook, spelling an increase in VCM demand. EDC As the invasion of cheaper deep sea cargoes, mainly from USA, trims down, and as sentiments in end user PVC markets start buoying up, EDC prices have steadied at US$100/MT in Asia in the week of December 1, 2008. In view of the optimistic market outlook for PVC, if VCM makers augment run rates, EDC demand could be expected to pick up. POLYMERS HDPE As buyers and sellers both refrained from the markets, HDPE prices have inched up marginally to US$805/MT CFR China in Asia in the week of December 1, 2008. Lackluster markets have been balanced by an increase in feedstock ethylene prices. Few offers for December shipment that rose to US$840/MT CFR China, have met with constrained response from Chinese buyers, rendering deal conclusion at the 800 dollar mark. LDPE LDPE prices steadied at last weeks' US$845/MT in Asia in the week of December 1, 2008, as buyers have not responded to increased offers. Sellers have hiked this month's offers by almost fifty dollars on account of restricted avails, but buyers are reluctant to move in anticipation of an influx of cheaper material from North America, possibly USA. LLDPE LLDPE prices stood ground at last week's US$780/MT in Asia in the week of December 1, 2008. Offers for material from Middle East and South Korea for December hovered at US$800-820/MT CFR China, even as deals were concluded for cargoes from Iran about fifty dollars lower. POLYPROPYLENE Limited sellers offers for December have kept Polypropylene at US$760/MT in Asia in the week of December 1, 2008. Reluctance on the part of the buyers has maintained bids about thirty dollars cheaper. POLY VINYL CHLORIDE PVC prices have steadied in Asia at US$595/MT in the week of December 1, 2008. Though buying intentions have not been very buoyed, a hike in domestic PVC prices in China of about RMB100-250/MT coupled with augmented offers for the month from Taiwan's Formosa, Korea's LG Chem and Chinese and Indian producers has firmed PVC prices around US$600-630. GPPS As market outlook turned pessimistic and demand from China wanes, GPPS prices in Asia have crumbled to US$725/MT CFR China in the week of December 1, 2008. Seller's offers that have fallen by almost fifty dollars to lows of US$720, have met with buyer's reluctance to settle for a price that is over US$700/MT CFR China. Hence it seems that the next week could see a further downward movement in prices. ABS As input (butadiene and ACN) deteriorate and demand from China weakens, offers for ABS have also dropped by over 50 dollars. Most CFR China offers for ABS are being quoted by sellers at US$1290-1250, but are finding no takers. As December shipment offers from South Korea and Taiwan fall, deals are being concluded at below US$1250/MT levels, after which buying intentions have headed south by another fifty dollars.
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Milacron 450 ton electric injection molding machine

Milacron 450 ton electric injection molding machine