Unstoppable drop in polyester chain pricing led by crude oil

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-12-11 17:57:00 – Mumbai

The free fall in crude oil prices continued in the week of 5 December with both benchmarks hitting their recent lows. US crude oil closed at its lowest since July 2009 while Brent fell below US$70 a barrel in the week for the first time since 2010. The markets were grappling with oversupply resulting from the US shale gas boom and the recent decision by the OPEC not to cut output. US shale is highly scalable and most estimates peg the breakeven price in key regions of this unconventional supply at US$65 per barrel. Prices were further worsened by a stronger dollar which hit the highest since March 2009. A stronger dollar makes commodities denominated by the greenback less affordable to holders of other currencies. The January Brent crude contract slipped 4% or US$1.08 on the week to settle at US$69.07 a barrel, while US crude fell US cents 31 on the week to settle at US$65.84 a barrel. Both registered their ninth loss in 10 weeks.

Asian ethylene prices declined amid ample supply and continued bearish sentiment reflecting falling crude oil prices. US spot ethylene also fell to a near 14-month low on the back of lengthening supply and steam cracker restarts. European ethylene spot prices too fell on bearish price expectations. Asian markers the CFR Northeast Asia was assessed at US$1,089-1,091 a ton, down US$30 on the week while CFR Southeast Asia closed at US$1,029-1,031 a ton, down US$130 from last Friday. In US, spot ethylene dropped US cents 6.5, assessed at US cents 44.25-44.75 per pound FD USG for December delivery. European spot prices were down Euro10 on closing at Euro907-911 a ton. Paraxylene prices fell as producers cut their contract price nominations for December amid ample supply and weakening demand. Prices in US and Europe too were down amid falling Asian prices. Asian paraxylene marker fell US$18-19 on the week to be assessed at US$927.50-928.50 a ton FOB Korea and US$949.50-950.50 a ton CFR Taiwan/China. US spot paraxylene price was down US$70 from last week to US$885 a ton while November contract price settled at US cents 52 per pound, down US cents 9.5 from October. European paraxylene price was assessed down US$10 at US$890 a ton FOB ARA.

Polyester intermediate, PTA prices slipped in Asia amid ample spot supply of both regional cargoes as well as overseas cargoes. Lower demand in China also had an adverse impact on prices. Meanwhile, formula-derived November US PTA price was heard falling to a four year low settling at US cents 47.98 per pound. Polyester chip markets moved in line with raw materials as players were focused on crude oil naphtha-paraxylene chain. Asian PTA markers fell US$14 week on week to be assessed at US$721-725 a ton CFR China, US$748 a ton CFR India and US$743 a ton CFR Southeast Asia.

PFY trading was thin due to sluggish feedstock and raw material markets. Players were on the sidelines despite producers offering discounts. In Pakistan, DTY prices were stable amid modest trading, and inventory level decreased slightly. In India, prices of POY were stable amid good trading. In China, POY 75/72 was traded at US$1.51-1.53 a kg in Shengze market while 75/36 was at US$1.50-1.51 a kg, both down US cents 5 from last week.

PSF markets were generally weak and mostly bearish due to volatile crude oil market. Downstream demand was also slow to pick since yarn makers were busy securing payment at the end of year. Prices in Pakistan were seen moderating on falling raw material while those in India rolled over. 1.4D direct-melt-spun PSF was traded at US$1.32-1.34 a kg, down US cents 3 from last week in Jiangsu and Zhejiang. In Pakistan, prices in Karachi fell PakRs6-7 to PakRs.149-153 a kg or at US$1.47-1.51 a kg, down US cents 6-7 from last week.

Courtesy: YnFx Weekly PriceWatch Report

Courtesy: YnFx Weekly PriceWatch Report

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