Asian benzene prices marker rose US$12 on last Friday and US$23 week on week, to be assessed at US$1,244.50-1,245.50 a ton FOB Korea in the week ended 21 March, tracking firmer prices in the US. Prices were softer earlier in the week, but as western goods started climbing supporting Asian numbers. In Europe, as benzene inventories remained low and spot prices continued to be prone to sharp swings. Assessments for spot barges were heard at US$ 1,384.50-1,385.50 a ton FOB Rotterdam while CIF ARA numbers were at US$1,374.50-1,375.50 a ton, both up US$12 from last week. In US, spot benzene assessment gained 8 cents to 492.95-493.05 per gallon USG in a thinly participated market and ahead of CP negotiations. Latin American benzene markets tracked firming Asia and USG values but no deals, bids or offers were heard at the close of week.
Caprolactum markets in Asia continued to remain under demand pressure and prices eased despite feedstock benzene prices gained. In China, low end solid caproalctum was pegged at US$2,425-2,440 a ton while offers for liquid goods were at around US$2,520-2,600 a ton, down US$ 40 from last week. Despite increasing feedstock prices caprolactum markets are likely to remain stable to low in the coming weeks as buyers will begin bargain hunting for low cost material.
Nylon chip prices softened further on the back of high stock levels and slow liquidity in the week of 21 March. Also cost support eased with caprolactum prices softening. Offers for Taiwan-origin chips were pegged at US$2,580 a ton amid limited buying interest. In China, low-end semi-dull chips from producers in Jiangsu, Shandong and Zhejiang were at US$2,910-2,930 a ton, down US$120 from last week.
The gradual fall in nylon filament yarn prices continued due to weakening support from raw material and stable to weak demand. In China, semi-dull FDY70D/24F was traded at US$3.71-3.74 a kg, down US cents 4-6 from last week while FDY40D similarly down at US$4.00-4.06 a kg.
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