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Ethylene prices gain in second straight week
Jan '10
Asia ethylene spot prices in the previous week gained for the second straight week, due to inadequate supply, but as crude oil prices fell below US $80 per barrel, buyers were cautious. As tight supply of ethylene continued to suppress negotiation level, trade volume was limited this week.

Sellers felt that price would continue to rise, due to strong prices of ethylene derivatives, and upcoming overhaul of local crackers. South Korean naphtha crackers plan to expand production capacity to 900,000 ton / year next month.

In addition, Iran cracking plants are operational at low rates, leading to a limited export volume, which is also one of the factors for tight supply in the market. Market sources reveal that, capacity utilization rate of Arya Sasol and Jam cracker factories is at 50-55 percent.

Generally higher prices in Asia are expected to open arbitrage window. Unconfirmed sources report that a Mexican cargo of 4,000-5,000 tons to be loaded in the second half of February will flow into Asian market through tenders.

Downstream derivatives market, high-density polyethylene (film grade) remained stable at $1,270-1,360 per ton (CFR China), MEG stood at $1,030-1,055 per ton (CFR China). Styrene price stabilized at $1,300-1,320 per ton (CFR China) and PVC price grew by $40-50 to $970-1,020 per ton (CFR China).

Unconfirmed reports also suggest that a (FOB South Korea) deal was made at $1200 per ton. Earlier in the reporting week, sellers quoted at $1250 per ton (FOB Korea) and February cargoes were quoting at $1300 per ton, but no deal was reported.

In the South East Asian market, spot price firmed up by $50-80 to $1,330-1,350 per ton (CFR South East Asia). On Friday one cargo of 3,000-3,500 tons to be loaded in the first half of February was sold to one dealer at $1,375 per ton (FOB).

Fibre2fashion News Desk - China

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