Northeast Asian ethylene prices dropped by $20/tonne last week, according to Polymerupdate, with prices assessed at $670 to $680/tonne, driven in part by weakening demand in downstream polyethylene (PE) markets. A trader contacted by Polymerupdate said the drops are likely to continue, with ethylene bids already below $650/tonne CFR Northeast Asia and bids in Souteast Asia heard below $600/tonne CFR mark. China’s domestic PE prices dropped by RMB 800/tonne last week on soft demand.
Northeast and Far East Asia propylene prices also fell last week before a slight rebound on Friday fed by a speculative spike in buying activity. FOB Korea propylene prices were assessed at $675/tonne, with CFR China prices at $725/tonne. A drop in polypropylene (PP) demand contributed to the fall, especially in light of new capacity from India (Reliance Industries Ltd.) and the Middle East (PetroRabigh).
PP prices finished lower in Asia last week, led by China, with Far East CFR prices for raffia and injection grades dropping to $850/tonne. Film prices fell below $900/tonne to $880/tonne. In Southeast Asia, PP injection and raffia grades fell to $860/tonne CFR, while film prices were assessed at $890/tonne CFR. In China’s local markets, producer prices of PP tumbled RMB 300/tonne to the RMB 7600/tonne ex works, with some trader offers were heard even lower at RMB 7200/tonne. The fall was exacerbated by reports of several deep sea cargoes on offer while regional producers of PP including SK Energy, Samsung Total, TPC, and Formosa were running their plants at higher rates or full capacity.
In polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Taiwanese producer CGPC lowered its offers last week, with March offers to India announced at $790/tonne CIF Nhava Sheva – a $30/tonne reduction from week-ago rates of $820/tonne. Buying trends in India were slowly turning sluggish.
Polystyrene (PS) prices ended higher, with gains in both general-purpose and high-impact grades experiencing higher demand. General-purpose CFR China prices were assessed at $845/tonne, with some offers up to $860 to $870/tonne. High-impact prices rose to $965/tonne CFR China mark. On a CFR South East Asia basis, general-purpose prices were assessed at $860/tonne, with high impact at $975/tonne CFR.