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Market Highlights

Caustic Soda
15 January 2020 Issue Number 473
  • US contract prices remain stable to soft despite proposed increases
  • Brazil producers roll over their December prices into January 2020
  • Nordic contracts have settled to show a small decrease of €20/ton
  • Japanese suppliers keep running chlor-alkali plants at high operating rates
  • Chinese exporters expect export business to remain difficult in the short term
  • Domestic Chinese liquid caustic soda market is expected to remain stable-to-soft

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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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Maleic Anhydride · 1,4-Butanediol
14 January 2020 Issue Number 345
  • UPR markets in the US and Europe a little better than expected
  • US contract prices stagger upwards in uneven delayed march
  • Asian maleic prices soar by more than $100/ton for early January business
  • Saudi Aramco butanes price up over $100/ton in January
  • BDO markets continue long in early 2020


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Orthoxylene · Phthalic Anhydride
14 January 2020 Issue Number 493
  • Mixed xylenes prices stable to firm but chemical demand remains weak
  • The US orthoxylene contract price declines to 38.5 c/lb
  • European contract price for December down €15/ton, January is unsettled
  • Asian orthoxylene prices stable to firm as supply remains tight
  • Phthalic anhydride demand starting to improve in Europe and the US
  • Chinese phthalic anhydride demand and prices softer

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Acrylic Acid & Acrylates
13 January 2020 Issue Number 345
  • European propylene contract settles at rollover for January
  • US propylene contract prices down by 2c/lb in December
  • Chinese propylene prices firm on tighter supply in early January
  • Arkema declares force majeure on acrylic acid and acrylates due to strike action in France
  • Asian acrylic acid and acrylate prices remain largely stable in January
  • Asian MMA buyers remain cautious ahead of Chinese New Year

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Acetic Acid · Vinyl Acetate
13 January 2020 Issue Number 388
  • LyondellBasell declares force majeure on acetic acid, VAM in early January
  • Dow Chemical announces order control on VAM as US market tightens
  • European Commission sets VAM duty free import quota at 400,000 tons
  • Lacklustre demand seen for acetyls markets in China ahead of holiday
  • Europe ethyl acetate prices slump in late 2019 amid seasonal downturn
  • Crude oil price volatility likely on increased Middle East tensions

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Bio-Materials & Intermediates
10 January 2020 Issue Number 077
  • Special Report: A new decade of optimistic opportunities for the renewable chemicals industry
  • Clariant forms cellulosic ethanol licensing deal with Anhui Guozhen Group and Chemtex
  • Stora to build a FDCA pilot facility in Belgium
  • The price of petro-based succinic acid in China remained largely stable
  • Low domestic biodiesel production has led to a supply shortage of US kosher crude glycerine
  • TechnipFMC and Yeni Capital to build a new PLA plant in Azerbaijan
  • CHEMICAL PROFILE: Acetic Acid

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Polyurethanes & Intermediates
10 January 2020 Issue Number 290
  • US PO plant to remain shut until March
  • Huntsman closes sale of PO plant to Indorama
  • North American and European TDI prices soften
  • European and US Q1 BDO prices are yet to settle
  • Polyols prices soften on weak demand and lengthy supply
  • BASF TDI plant at Ludwigshafen potentially back online

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Fibres & Intermediates
30 December 2019 Issue Number 424
  • European acrylic fibre producers’ margins suffer with rising feedstock costs
  • Chinese acrylic fibre prices steady despite falling acrylonitrile costs
  • Global polyamide fibre demand remain soft – new capacity comes online in the US
  • Polyester stable demand in all regions weak except in the US weaving operations sector
  • End of GM strike gives renewed hope that PP fibre demand will now improve
  • Import volumes of viscose staple in Europe may continue to decline in Q4

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Engineering Thermoplastics
30 December 2019 Issue Number 137
  • Polyamide 6 resin prices weaken in Q4 amid continued slow demand
  • China polyamide 66 resin prices stabilise in October, but outlook unclear
  • US engineering plastics markets looking for boost after GM strike ends
  • Europe polycarbonate resin market struggling to regain stability in Q4
  • Demand, feedstock prices weighing down ABS market in all regions
  • US PBT resin demand sluggish in October as outlook remains bearish

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Unsaturated Polyester Resins
23 December 2019 Issue Number 138
  • US UPR prices flat again, demand is seasonally softer but better than expected
  • European UPR prices down, buying activity and demand has been softer for most
  • Phthalic anhydride demand remains soft in Europe and the US
  • US maleic prices steady despite announced increases, European prices softening
  • US styrene prices remain weak but European and Asian prices have been improving
  • MPG prices firmer, DEG prices stable in US, softer in Europe and higher in Asia

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Polyamide & Intermediates
23 December 2019 Issue Number 476
  • Taiwan caprolactam import contract prices down sharply in December
  • However, China caprolactam prices tick higher as feedstock costs rise
  • EU PA 6, caprolactam roll over in December despite higher benzene
  • Cyclohexane markets in US, Europe seen as stable in late 2019
  • Butachimie begins restart process on Chalampe, France adiponitrile unit
  • Special Report: The nylon industry begins to take shape 80 years ago
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Ethylene Glycols • EO & EODs
20 December 2019 Issue Number 379
  • Ethylene down $100/ton in China, up €10/ton in Europe, unsettled in the US
  • MEG prices in China move up $75/ton to $625/ton cfr amid short-term tightness
  • MEG contracts stable in the US. High production, low spot prices and stable exports
  • First December MEG deal at €605/ton in Europe. November ECP fixed at €625/ton ddp
  • Ethanolamines prices firm in the US and China, but stable-to-soft in Europe
  • DEG prices soften globally amid good supply. TEG prices stable-to-firm

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Polyester & Intermediates
19 December 2019 Issue Number 476
  • Mega paraxylene plants of Zhejiang Petrochemical and Hengyi, Brunei ramp-up output
  • Paraxylene (and PTA where negotiated) margins at low levels in all regions
  • MEG values in China move up $75/ton to $625/ton cfr amid short-term tightness
  • The outlook in West Europe for polyester filament is gloomy in all sectors
  • Polyester staple operating rates in China are around 80%, with low inventories
  • The PET resin industry in India continues to operate at a rate of 85-90%

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PET Packaging Resin
19 December 2019 Issue Number 278
  • Mega paraxylene plants of Zhejiang Petrochemical and Hengyi, Brunei ramp-up output
  • Paraxylene (and PTA where negotiated) margins at low levels in all regions
  • Ethylene fall $100/ton in China, up €10/ton in Europe and unsettled in the US
  • MEG values in China move up $75/ton to $625/ton cfr amid short-term tightness
  • MEG contracts stable in the US.  High production, low spot prices and stable exports
  • The PET resin industry in India continues to operate at a rate of 85-90%

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Epoxy Resins & Co-Reactants
13 December 2019 Issue Number 039
  • Hexion announces 3 c/lb for 1 January US epoxy resin contracts
  • European LER prices roll over – demand is seasonally soft
  • Bisphenol A prices recover in China in line with feedstock costs
  • Epoxy resin Asian import prices drop by $100/ton in December
  • Chinese ECH prices climb in mid December on short supply
  • Jiangsu Haili is now expected to remain shut until after the Chinese New Year

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Phenol · Acetone & Derivatives
13 December 2019 Issue Number 300
  • Phenol demand soft in all regions – Q1 adders reported at rollovers
  • Chinese phenol prices fall to new record lows due to slowing demand
  • Phenol manufacturers in China cut operating rates due to negative margins
  • Chinese acetone tightens and prices hit a 21-month high
  • European acetone climbs in line with Asian values but demand is waning
  • Chinese BPA values soften as polycarbonate producers cut operating rates

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Chlorine & Derivatives
24 December 2019 Issue Number 472
  • Olin announces closure of chlor alkali and VDC capacity at Freeport
  • North American and European MDI prices soften
  • Asian EDC prices stable on tight supply and weak demand
  • US PVC export prices improve on tighter availability
  • Formosa Taiwan increase PVC prices in Asia for January shipments
  • European PVC prices mostly roll over in December

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