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Ethylene prices scale up to 2009 highs
Dec '09
In the past seven days, spot ethylene prices in Asia rose to 2009 high's, buoyed by strong price in polyethylene market, limited supply and high price of naphtha. However, the crude oil market dropped sharply on Friday, raising concerns over whether the gains could be maintained for the next few weeks.

Recent rise in ethylene prices also contributed to the opening of a window for arbitrage of shipments from Mexico, Libya and Argentina to Asia. It is reported that negotiations for cargoes for arrivals in December and January are under way.

Shipments from Iran and Saudi Arabia also supported supply level under negotiation, as end-users refresh stocks for production of derivative products, particularly in Southeast Asia. Asian manufacturers are optimistic about market prospects of ethylene.

The market of downstream derivatives rose in the week. Price of HDPE film grade materials rose by US $20 to $1220-1290 per ton (CFR China), while MEG price rose by $25 to $840-845 per ton (CFR China).

But styrene price fell $25-35 to $1080-1100 per ton (CFR China). PVC price increased by $10-20 to $840-890 per ton (CFR China). In Northeast Asian markets, spot price rose 40 cents, to US $1070-1110 per ton (CFR Northeast Asia), reflecting the level of bargaining. CFR South East Asia ethylene prices also rose by $50-60 to $1100-1150 per ton.

In addition, Chinese customs statistics show that China's imports of ethylene in October dropped 22 percent compared with September to 64,157 tons, but imports were flat, when compared with a year earlier. China's total imports amounted to 851,038 tons this year, 21,204 tons, more than last year's imports.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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