Asia plasticizers demand to taper down ahead of Lunar New Year

Abstract

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Plasticizers markets in Asia is likely to see a general demand slow down as the Lunar New Year approaches.

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Plasticizers markets in Asia                    is likely to see a general demand slow down as                    the Lunar New Year approaches.

  • Buyers stay cautious

  • Cost pressures remain for                      producers

  • Sellers banking on post-holiday                      demand

Producers, on the other hand, are not likely to                    let cargoes go on the cheap at this juncture                    with cost rising due to recent uptrend in                    feedstock prices.

Upstream propylene and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH)                    prices have firmed on tightened supply as some                    producers have cut output, and others seriously                    considering cutting operating rates.

The Lunar New Year, which is celebrated in most                    parts of northeast and southeast Asia, falls on                    25 January, with China to be on holiday for a                    full week from 24 January.

Buyers of plasticizers could use the long                    holiday as an opportunity to study the market                    further. Buying remained cautious with no big                    upswing in demand and downstream demand                    post-holiday is uncertain.

Post-holiday, some buyers may find themselves                    having lower inventories, while some producers                    could be sitting on slightly more cargoes as                    there are no scheduled turnarounds among                    northeast Asian plants.

Players have turned to looking at price                    movements in the previous years for some clues                    on market direction.

For dioctyl phthalate (DOP), post-Lunar New                    Year spot prices in east Asia had risen since                    2017, although the upswing was comparatively                    slight in 2019.

On 9 January 2020, DOP average spot prices were                    assessed at $940/tonne CFR (cost and freight)                    east Asia, up $5/tonne from the week before,                    according to ICIS data.

ICIS Editorial Chart goes here  

Focus article by Joson Ng  

Photo Container port in Qingdao, Shandong                    Province, China. (By Yu Fangping/Pacific Press                    Via Zuma Wire/Shutterstock)  

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