Price trends of oil, polymer feedstock & commodity polymers in Asia for the week of October 15, 2007

16-Oct-07
SUMMARY Crude oil futures spiked past US$83 per barrel in New York on release of data by the Department of Energy reporting a drop in inventories for the week. Naphtha prices have risen in line with robust crude prices. EDC prices have dipped due to slack demand from downstream buyers, and VCM prices stagnated despite a dip in upstream VCM prices. Ethylene prices dipped on weak demand from end-users and propylene prices spiked due to tight supplies. Styrene prices rose marginally on rising feedstock prices. HDPE, LDPE, PP, GPPS, ABS, prices stagnated on low level of market activity after the Chinese have returned from the week long break. LLDPE and PVC prices dipped due to persistent dull market outlook and weak demand from China have kept prices down CRUDE OIL Crude oil futures spiked past US$83 per barrel in New York on release of data by the Department of Energy reporting a drop in inventories for the week. Oil prices also rose on anxieties over possible Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq. The market was teeming with concerns that Turkey may seek to quash Kurdish rebels by invading northern Iraq, reportedly at any diplomatic costs. NAPHTHA Asian naphtha prices rose in line with rising crude oil prices to US$725/MT in the week of October 15, 2007. FEEDSTOCK VCM VCM market in Asia was lackluster and stagnated at US$820/MT in the week of October 15, 2007, despite a dip in prices of upstream EDC and downstream PVC. Asian VCM markets remained quiet mainly as a result of uncompromising offers for November shipment by sellers, and reluctance on part of buyers to buy at these prices. Currently, a twenty dollar gap exists between supplier offers and buying intentions. Supplies were also limited on account of the shutdown of 260,000 tpa Tosoh's no.1 VCM plant. EDC EDC prices fell to US$445/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007 mainly due to slackening market demand. The EDC markets had a gloomy outlook as market players refrained from buying despite lower offers from suppliers. Weak buying sentiments in Asia reflected the poor downstream VCM and PVC markets. Prices are expected to dip further as buyers' interest remains pegged at least 20 dollars lower than current prices. ETHYLENE Ethylene prices dipped to US$1175/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Quiet market conditions prevailed despite strong crude oil and naphtha prices, on account of weak demand from end-users, particularly from China. Weak demand persists as players refrain from buying on estimation that ethylene supply will rise on completion of maintenance turnarounds. Downstream producers prefer to wait and watch as they await a price rectification in November. PROPYLENE Propylene prices rose by over twenty dollars to US$1090/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Tight availabilities from South Korean producers have kept supplies taut. Prices are expected to rise further in the remaining weeks of October 2007. Styrene Monomer Styrene Monomer prices settled marginally higher as they rose to US$1370/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Upstream benzene prices rose to US$1000/MT levels on the back of strong crude oil values. POLYMERS HDPE HDPE prices stagnated at US$1410/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007, as major suppliers commenced offering October shipment. Markets remained lackluster mainly due to low bids from China. LDPE LDPE prices stagnated at US$1580/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007, as supplier offers remained intact amid low key buying intentions. Prices could move marginally up in the weeks of November 2007. LLDPE LLDPE prices dipped to US$1385/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007, mainly due to lack of buying interest from Chinese buyers. PP Polypropylene prices stagnated at US$1360/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Markets remained lackluster mainly due to lower level of buying activity in China. Demand has not yet picked up in China after the buyers have returned from the week long break. Sellers failed in their bid to raise price by 20-30 dollars on weak buying sentiments and lower offers from Middle East suppliers. PVC Poly Vinyl Chloride prices tumbled by almost forty dollars to US$980/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Persistent dull market outlook and weak demand from China have kept prices down. Softer domestic prices continue to prevail even after the Chinese buyers have returned from the week long break. Buying interest from the Middle East region for Asian cargoes has been weaker due to the arrival of cheaper cargoes from USA. GPPS Low level of market activity has kept Polystyrene markets dull and lifeless at US$1465/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. The markets have witnessed firming offers by twenty dollars from sellers, but prices have stagnated on lower buying intentions, particularly from China. The Chinese buyers have refrained from buying on their return from the week long break in anticipation of a change in market trends. ABS Rising prices of feedstock butadiene and ACN have sustained prices of ABS at US$1745/MT in Asia in the week of October 15, 2007. Suppliers from South Korea and Taiwan have raised offers by twenty dollars, but prices remained stagnant as buyers exerted caution while transacting, due to the relatively higher stockpiles they hold. News that the new 100,000 tpa ABS plant of Zhejiang Guoheng Chemical Co. Ltd. is scheduled to come onstream shortly seems to have also exerted some influence on buyer sentiments.
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Windmoller  and Holscher 5 layer cast film line

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