Asian ethylene prices stayed flat amid weak PE market and turnarounds. Polyethylene prices were seen softening on a combination of weaker LLDPE futures, tapering agricultural demand and falling domestic prices in China. In Europe, ethylene spot also remained flat as market awaited production restarts. In US, ethylene spot slipped after restarts of two US Gulf Coast producers’ plants while Evangeline in-service date was expected by 15 June. Paraxylene prices were subdued across regions slumping both weekend and also on the week as Brent crude fell and downstream PTA prices retreated sharply, while isomer-mixed xylene was also down. In Europe paraxylene continued its downward path while in US, market participation was thin and spot tracked Asian prices lower. MEG markets were under weak correction and prices moved down notably. The fall was in expectation of rising supply as Sinopec is likely to restart plant end May.
MEGlobal will increase its June Asia contract price for MEG. European MEG climbed on firm traded levels while contract was initially settled at an increase over the April number. In US, MEG spot slipped amid lower exports tracking a decline in Asian prices although domestic demand remained healthy.
PTA spot prices have been rising since the Dragon Aromatics plant explosion in April and producers had to buy regular spot volumes to meet contractual obligations. As supplies resumed, spot has started to decline after surging on bullish buying and tight supply last week. In Europe, PTA prices were steady but were slated to rise once May paraxylene contract price is fully settled. As raw material prices softened, polyester chip markets which are driven by cost, lacked upward momentum.
Semi dull chip market saw values dipping a bit after offers were pegged stable at the beginning of the week. PFY were on weak correction and most producers pegged offers flat or lower amid bearish sentiment as trades were mainly seen for low-end products.
In China, PFY prices were on weak correction and some spec prices were lowered, mostly POYs with discounts available for firm deals. PFY market in Pakistan was thin and producers pegged offers stable. In India, POY market was quiet as buyers remained on the sidelines.
PSF markets were on weak correction as the continuous decline in PTA futures dampened market sentiment, which resulted in tepid activity and prices falling. In China, producers promoted sales by lowering prices, but saw limited results. Prices in Pakistan were hiked on rising raw material cost while in India, after the upward revision in the first week, prices rolled over.
Courtesy: Weekly PriceWatch Report
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