China Polyethylene Market Review
The Chinese PE prices moved up this week. Early in the week, LLDPE futures fluctuated narrowly, and some petrochemical companies uplifted the ex-works prices. Thus the PE traders raised the offers in line with the market trend. In H2 of the week, the surged LLDPE futures improved the spot PE market further. Yet the downstream demand kept soft. The buyers purchased based on needs.
As of Jul 20, the mainstream LLDPE prices were rising by RMB 250/mt from last week. The LDPE prices were rising by RMB 50/mt. Some HDPE prices inched up by RMB 50-100/mt, and few mold blowing and raffia materials prices inched down by RMB 50/mt.
China Styrene Market Review
(East China): The styrene market in Jiangsu lost ground this week. The soft demand offset the positive support from the constantly decreasing stocks at the main ports of East China. The current price level had reached players’ expectation. Buyers were not willing to buying high. Additionally, the styrene market failed to be pushed up for several times, dampening players’ confidence. The spot and paper markets of styrene decreased on Wednesday, following the slump at Huaxicun Commodity Contracts Exchange. The trading volume notably shrank as players retreated to the sidelines given the price decline.
The weekly average price of styrene decreased 0.02% from last week. CNOOC Ningbo Daxie Petrochemical shut down its ethylbenzene plant for 3-5 days’ turnarounds.
South China: The styrene market in South China largely held stable, except slides seen late this week. The styrene market price stayed at highs in East China early this week. However, negotiations stalemated as players were cautious about purchasing high. South China market also large held flat. However, East China market lost ground late this week. Additionally, CNOOC and Shell Petrochemical cut the ex-works price to RMB 9,900/mt. Mainstream negotiating prices of styrene went lower as a result. Sparse trades were heard concluded. On July 19, styrene stocks at the ports in South China decreased 3.5kt to 15.5kt, and the volume of merchantable spot styrene decreased 1.3kt to 8.5kt.
China SM Market Forecast
The tight supply of spot styrene will continue in the short run. Thus, the styrene market is not likely to see notable decrease in the near term. However, the current price level is high. The demand is restricted by the hot weather and environmental protection inspection. It will be difficult for the styrene market to gain ground. The styrene market will probably see little movements in the near term.
Chinese Methanol Inventory at Ports
The arrival volume of imported methanol was about 245.8kt this week.
It is estimated that 114.8–120kt of imported methanol will arrive at ports from July 21 to end-July, including58.8–60kt in Jiangsu,20–30kt in Zhejiang and 36–46kt in South China. 30
China Methanol Market Forecast
In Northwest China, the olefin plants are running normally. However, the methanol supply is fairish, and most traditional downstream markets are curbed by the environmental protection inspection. Therefore, the overall methanol sales are average. It is predicted that next week the prices will be largely stable with slight downward pressure. The payers are paying attention to the status of the new 600kt/a methanol unit at Shandong Jinmei Mingshu Chemical. The prices are estimated in the range of RMB 1,930–1,950/mt in Inner Mongolia and RMB 2,130–2,250/mt in Shandong next week.
In the coastal areas, although imported arrivals increased recently, some cargoes were used for hedge or delivered to downstream plants directly. Thus, the overall merchantable resources are still limited. In Jiangsu, the profits at downstream acetic acid, formaldehyde and MTO plants are fairish. SCI predicts that the methanol market in the coastal areas may adjust at a high level next week. The prices are estimated in the range of RMB2,400–2,500/mt next week.