Ethylene prices edged up in Asia, climbing as demand lifted for latter half September deliveries, according to Polymerupdate. CFR Northeast Asia ethylene rose to $955/tonne, while CFR Southeast Asia prices hit $1055/tonne. The market was impacted by issues restarting Iran NPC’s Olefin 9 and 10 steam crackers. Olefin 9, owned by NPC subsidiary Arya Sasol, remained down, while Olefin 10, owned by NPC subsidiary Jam Petrochemical, was running at 50% production rates.
Polypropylene (PP) demand eased in Asia last week, with PP producers continuing to pursue higher offer prices, even as buying interest across the region waned. South Korean offers for PP injection and raffia remained firm at $1240 to $1280/tonne CFR Far East Asia. PP block copolymer offers were at $1300 to $1320/tonne CFR Far East Asia, with more ambitious sellers pegging September offers at $1350/tonne CFR. In China, PP makers accepted reality and reduced offer prices in response to sluggish buying. Sinopec cut its ex-factory injection molding PP prices by RMB 300/tonne to RMB 9900/tonne mark. In plant news, PetroChina Dushanzi announced the start up of its new Xinjiang PP plant, with output capacity of 550,000 tonnes/yr.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices quoted steady to firm at start of the week. Although prices were assessed at $950/tonne CFR, offers were heard above $970/tonne CFR China. Deals from PVC sellers in Taiwan and South Korea to buyers in India were confirmed at $990 to $1000/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva. Bullish upstream ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) coupled with firm energy to keep upward pressure on prices. Demand for Asian PVC was good in export markets, including Turkey, where buyers scouted for Asian PVC cargoes.
Polystyrene (PS) fell in Asia, with general-purpose (GPPS) at $1230 to $1235/tonne CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia, while high-impact (HIPS) was assessed at $1300 to $1310/tonne CFR China and CFR Southeast Asia. A South Korean PS producer contacted by Polymerupdate said the difficult selling market makes price increases unlikely. In fact, the company said it will have to work to defend current prices against a decline. —[email protected]