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Market Highlights

Orthoxylene · Phthalic Anhydride
14 February 2020 Issue Number 494
  • US mixed xylenes prices firmer, supply tighter. European and Asian prices softer
  • The US orthoxylene contract price for February increased to 40.5 c/lb
  • West European contract price for January up €10/ton, February is unsettled
  • US and European phthalic anhydride demand stable-to-soft
  • Chinese markets struggling following the outbreak of Coronavirus
  • Asian markets outside China are largely stable

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Caustic Soda
14 February 2020 Issue Number 474
  • US contract prices remain stable to weak with inventory pressure
  • Braskem announces shutdown of Camaçari chlor-alkali plant
  • Finland’s pulp mill strikes halted production for two weeks disrupting caustic demand
  • LG Chemical’s 150 ktpa plant starts up, spot cargo supply from South Korea increases
  • Operating rates fell below 70% in China amid weak demand
  • Flakes grade enquiries increase outside China amid delayed Chinese shipments

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Maleic Anhydride · 1,4-Butanediol
12 February 2020 Issue Number 346
  • US UPR market firms as consumers rebuild inventories in January
  • Northeast Asian maleic prices increase as Chinese market freezes up
  • Saudi Aramco butanes price drop back $45/ton to $545/ton for February
  • Coronavirus creates logistics and stockpiling issues in China
  • European and US Q1 BDO prices settled down
  • European maleic spot prices firm then stabilize in uncertain market


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Acetic Acid · Vinyl Acetate
11 February 2020 Issue Number 389
  • China government extends New Year holiday amid coronavirus outbreak
  • China acetyls producers reduce output as inventory levels increase
  • LyondellBasell declares FM on acetic acid, VAM on utility disruption
  • Europe acetic acid, derivatives markets see price decreases in early 2020
  • Methanol prices spike in January on higher crude oil, production outages
  • UK, Europe Union begin trade negotiations after “Brexit” becomes official

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Polyurethanes & Intermediates
11 February 2020 Issue Number 291
  • Repsol shuts one polyols line at Tarragona, Spain
  • One European producer announces polyols price increase
  • European MPG prices stable to soft due to unexpected weak demand
  • European and US Q1 BDO prices settled down
  • BASF to indefinitely shut TDI plant at Schwarzheide, Germany in March
  • BASF TDI plant at Ludwigshafen confirmed to be back online

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Acrylic Acid & Acrylates
10 February 2020 Issue Number 346
  • US and European propylene contracts settle at rollovers for January and February respectively
  • India to increase import tax on butyl acrylate from 5%  to 7.5%
  • European acrylic acid and acrylates contract prices softer in February despite propylene rollover
  • Ethyl acrylate supply tightens in the US market
  • Chinese acrylic acid and acrylates plants severely impacted by transportation restrictions
  • Upcoming shutdowns could keep Asian market balanced to tight in the short term

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Bio-Materials & Intermediates
10 February 2020 Issue Number 078
  • Special Report: Will China’s single-use plastic ban drive biodegradable plastic demand?
  • ClarItaconix, Nouryon terminate polymer supply agreement in detergent applications
  • UPM invests in commercial-scale bio-MEG project in Germany
  • BioBTX to build commercial-scale BTX production facility using waste plastics as feedstock
  • More glycerine-based ECH capacity in China coming soon
  • Nanollose, Grasim Industries collaborate on microbial cellulose fibres commercialisation

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Fibres & Intermediates
31 January 2019 Issue Number 425
  • Coronavirus outbreak brings trading in Chinese fibre markets to a standstill
  • China polyamide market activity slows at the end of January
  • Pre-holiday polyester filament yarn markets in China and Taiwan remain quiet
  • US polyester staple fibre output in 2019 declines at a double-digit rate
  • Polypropylene fibre prices in China slide amid slower-than-normal demand
  • Demand in the European viscose staple market remains weak

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Engineering Thermoplastics
30 January 2020 Issue Number 138
  • Higher feedstock prices squeeze PA 6 margins further in January
  • Global polybutylene terephthalate demand soft in early 2020
  • Engineering resin markets hope for auto industry rebound in 2020
  • China government extends holiday amid coronavirus outbreak
  • BASF’s purchase of Solvay’s PA 66 business closes end January
  • China’s CNOOC, Shell planning new polycarbonate JV plant

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Ethylene Glycols • EO & EODs
30 January 2020 Issue Number 380
  • Ethylene up $125/ton in China, stable in Europe and down in the USA
  • MEG values in China hover around $600/ton cfr before Spring Festival holidays
  • Following Asian values, US MEG contracts rise 1 c/lb on the back of record-high exports
  • First January MEG deal at €625/ton in Europe. December ECP fixed at €605/ton ddp
  • Stable prices for ethanolamines globally, with MEA/DEA more balanced than TEA
  • DEG market weakens amid high availability. TEG stable in Europe, down in the US

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Chlorine & Derivatives
29 January 2020 Issue Number 473
  • Orbia analyses divestment opportunities for its vinyl business
  • Braskem will shut down permanently its chlor-alkali plant at Camaçari
  • US EDC prices move upwards on tightening supply
  • Formosa Taiwan increase PVC prices again for February shipments
  • US PVC export prices jump on tighter supply
  • European PVC prices roll over again in January

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Polyamide & Intermediates
29 January 2020 Issue Number 477
  • China polyamide market activity slows ahead of New Year holiday;
  • However, coronavirus outbreak prompts travel bans across China
  • Butachimie resumes adiponitrile production in France in late 2019
  • European PA 66 market awaits closing of BASF-Solvay deal end January
  • Global caprolactam prices under pressure from higher benzene levels
  • Europe cyclohexane delta settles slightly higher for Q1 2020
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Epoxy Resins & Co-Reactants
28 January 2020 Issue Number 040
  • European epoxy resins producers seek €70-150/ton increases for February
  • LER values in China hit levels of $2600-2700/ton (before VAT) in early January
  • The coronavirus outbreak could halt market activity in China
  • Crude oil values slump following news of the epidemic
  • Bisphenol A values rose by more than $140-150/ton in Asia
  • Chinese ECH values increased by Rmb4000/ton but then fell again in January

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Unsaturated Polyester Resins
27 January 2020 Issue Number 139
  • US UPR prices flat despite announced increases, demand better as buyers restock
  • European UPR prices being pressured down my competitive pricing behaviour
  • Phthalic anhydride demand in Europe and the US has improved due to restocking
  • US maleic anhydride prices firmer, European prices fairly stable
  • Global styrene prices stronger on the back of higher benzene costs
  • US glycols prices largely stable, European prices are firmer

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Phenol · Acetone & Derivatives
27 January 2020 Issue Number 301
  • Phenol demand soft but supply is expected to tighten
  • Ineos declares FM on phenol/acetone from its Antwerp site
  • Turnarounds in all regions will shorten phenol supply but demand is soft
  • Acetone is tightening in all regions – US producers announce 3-4 c/lb increases
  • Acetone demand in China improving from all sectors
  • Bisphenol A values in Europe and Asia climbing due to improving demand

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Polyester & Intermediates
24 January 2020 Issue Number 477
  • Global paraxylene and PTA markets stable ahead of Lunar New Year holiday …
  • …but stronger growth required to absorb paraxylene and PTA expansions
  • Following Asia, MEG contracts rose 1 c/lb in the US amid record-high exports
  • Pre-holiday polyester filament yarn markets in China and Taiwan are quiet
  • US polyester staple fibre output in 2019 declines at a double-digit rate
  • 2020 is expected to be a challenging year for PET resin producers globally

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PET Packaging Resin
24 January 2020 Issue Number 279
  • Global paraxylene and PTA markets stable ahead of Lunar New Year holiday …
  • …but stronger growth required to absorb paraxylene and PTA expansions
  • Following Asia, MEG contracts rose 1 c/lb in the US amid record-high exports
  • MEG values in China hovering around $600/ton cfr before the holiday period
  • Ethylene increase $125/ton in China, remains stable in Europe, down in the US
  • 2020 is expected to be a challenging year for PET resin producers globally

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Phthalates · Oxo-Alcohols
15 January 2020 Issue Number 457
  • US plasticisers prices mostly stable, DINP weaken slightly
  • European plasticisers prices mostly flat in January
  • General strike in France continues to cause logistic disruption
  • US Oxo alcohols prices lose more ground on falling propylene
  • Plasticisers prices in China increase on improved demand ahead of the holidays
  • 2-EH prices in China recover in the first half of January on higher propylene values

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