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Market Highlights

Fibres & Intermediates
31 March 2020 Issue Number 427
  • Crude oil prices fall sharply on weak demand; benzene plunges
  • Acrylic fibre import volumes down but European manufacturers increase production
  • Polyamide filament prices in China fall in March due to high inventory levels
  • West European polyester filament producers nervous about low-priced imports
  • Demand in China for polyester staple fibre is improving
  • PPF demand for face masks, protective clothing and filtration products surges

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Engineering Thermoplastics
31 March 2020 Issue Number 140
  • Chinese markets start to recover from COVID-19 then falter as global demand falls
  • European polycarbonate market remains tight due to Antwerp force majeure
  • Automobile plant closures push back engineering plastics demand
  • All three ABS feedstocks see price drops for March following decline in crude oil value
  • Uncertainty over COVID-19 in Europe and North America stymies demand
  • Lower feedstock costs and weak demand dampen PC prices in China

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Polyamide & Intermediates
27 March 2020 Issue Number 479
  • COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic worsens outside of China
  • Europe, US experience rapid spread of virus during March
  • Crude oil prices fall sharply on weak demand; benzene plunges
  • China’s PA market demand was weak amid falling feedstocks
  • Polyamide 66 resin producers anxious over April demand levels
  • Caprolactam market bracing for tough conditions in all regions
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Chlorine & Derivatives
27 March 2020 Issue Number 475
  • Covid-19 threatens demands across the chlorine chain as restrictions ramp up globally
  • Asian EDC prices slump on falling ethylene and softening demand
  • US PVC export prices drop, demand weakens as uncertainty grows
  • Asian PVC prices crash, as India’s lockdown severely impact demand in the region
  • European PVC prices settling mostly at a roll-over
  • Chlorine demand in China gradually improving as the outbreak recedes

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Ethylene Glycols • EO & EODs
26 March 2020 Issue Number 382
  • Brent values below $30/bbl and COVID-19 outbreak the main concerns in March
  • Ethylene falls $145/ton in China, €50/ton in Europe and 1.75 c/lb in the US
  • Chinese spot MEG prices hit a 10-year low of $400/ton cfr
  • Tight MEG market in Europe sets February ECP at €608/ton; March €595/ton ddp
  • MEG drops 1-2 c/lb in US, amid high output, stable demand and record exports
  • Ethanolamine prices firm in Europe, but stable in the US and softening in China

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Unsaturated Polyester Resins
25 March 2020 Issue Number 141
  • US UPR prices flat again, demand is good so far but expected to slow in April
  • European UPR prices softer, March started well but has slowed as lockdowns begin
  • Asian UPR market activity is slowly picking up but prices and run rates remain low
  • US maleic prices flat, decreases expected in April. Spot prices in Europe are firmer
  • Global styrene values plummet to multi-year lows
  • European phthalic anhydride demand soft, US demand better than expected

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Epoxy Resins & Co-Reactants
24 March 2020 Issue Number 042
  • Chinese LER prices fall by almost $400/ton in March
  • Producers push for price increases on LER in US and Europe
  • Hexion’s 7 c/lb increase for BPA from 1 March pushed through in spot market
  • Minor decreases in European spot BPA prices despite significant drop in benzene
  • US suppliers push 5 c/lb increase in ECH spot market
  • Chinese ECH values plunge to 30-month low in March

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Phenol · Acetone & Derivatives
20 March 2020 Issue Number 303
  • Phenol demand stable in Europe and US but low in China and Asia
  • Q2 turnarounds in Europe and US will tighten phenol supply
  • Acetone contract prices in Europe are down by €14/ton
  • Spot acetone values climbing in all regions as supply shortens
  • Hexion’s 7 c/lb increase for BPA from 1 March pushed through in spot market
  • Spot European BPA prices see minor decreases despite significant drop in benzene

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PET Packaging Resin
19 March 2020 Issue Number 281
  • Crude oil market collapse sees sharp paraxylene price falls in all regions
  • Chinese spot PTA prices hit a 10 year low of Rmb3700-3750/ton
  • Tight MEG market in Europe sets February ECP at €608/ton; March €595/ton ddp
  • Ethylene fall $100/ton in China, €50/ton in Europe and 1.75 c/lb in the US
  • MEG drops 1-2 c/lb in US, amid high output, stable demand and record exports
  • The PET resin industry in India continues to operate at 85-90% of capacity

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Polyester & Intermediates
19 March 2020 Issue Number 479
  • Crude oil market collapse sees sharp paraxylene price falls in all regions
  • Chinese spot PTA prices hit a 10 year low of Rmb3700-3750/ton
  • Tight MEG market in Europe sets February ECP at €608/ton; March €595/ton ddp
  • Ethylene fall $100/ton in China, €50/ton in Europe and 1.75 c/lb in the US
  • MEG drops 1-2 c/lb in US, amid high output, stable demand and record exports
  • The PET resin industry in India continues to operate at 85-90% of capacity

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Caustic Soda
18 March 2020 Issue Number 475
  • US producers have announced price increases between $30-40/ton
  • Northwest European spot prices increase between $50-60/ton
  • Pulp producers face increased demand of tissue paper due to COVID-19
  • Low-priced Indonesian cargoes are no longer being offered
  • Japanese and South Korean producers try to raise offers
  • China operating rates have recovered substantially

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Phthalates · Oxo-Alcohols
17 March 2020 Issue Number 459
  • US plasticisers prices stable in March
  • European plasticisers prices roll over for the most part but some DOTP increases reported
  • 2-Ethylhexanol supply in Europe tightens due to Oxea’s force majeure at Oberhausen
  • US suppliers announce 2-ethylhexanol price increases
  • Operations at Chinese plasticisers plants recover slightly but prices remain under pressure
  • 2-EH prices in China slump on tumbling crude oil and propylene

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Orthoxylene · Phthalic Anhydride
16 March 2020 Issue Number 495
  • Global mixed xylenes prices have tumbled as crude oil prices fell sharply
  • The US orthoxylene contract price for March fell by 1 c/lb to 39.5 c/lb
  • West European contract price for February down €15/ton, March is unsettled
  • US phthalic anhydride demand better but European demand remains soft
  • Chinese markets are beginning to recover following the outbreak of Covid-19
  • Improved logistics availability has helped ease inventory pressure in China

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Maleic Anhydride · 1,4-Butanediol
11 March 2020 Issue Number 347
  • US and European butanes prices fall sharply with crude oil; Saudi price remains high
  • Italian maleic market in some confusion as COVID-19 lock-down intensifies
  • European maleic market firmed on supply issues
  • Asian maleic export prices drop back reviving possibility of trade with US and Europe
  • European UPR prices down, demand is softer and the market remains competitive
  • US BDO price increases announced for April


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Acetic Acid · Vinyl Acetate
10 March 2020 Issue Number 390
  • China market activity sharply limited in February by COVID-19 coronavirus
  • Inventories increase as transportation, logistics restrictions hinder commerce
  • LyondellBasell lifts force majeure on US Gulf Coast acetic acid, VAM supplies
  • Europe ethyl acetate spot prices stabilise in late February at lower levels
  • Crude oil prices collapse in early March as producers fail to agree output cuts
  • Spot methanol levels decrease as markets react to deep losses in crude values

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Acrylic Acid & Acrylates
9 March 2020 Issue Number 347
  • Propylene contract for Europe settles down by €20/ton in March
  • US propylene contract for February decreases by 1c/lb
  • AA and BA utilisation rates cut dramatically in China
  • Oxea declares force majeure on oxo-alcohols from Oberhausen, Germany
  • Chinese acrylic acid and acrylate exports restart gradually
  • Asian acrylic acid and acrylates prices stabilise in March

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Bio-Materials & Intermediates
6 March 2020 Issue Number 079
  • Special Report: Cellulose Fibres – Back in the Spotlight
  • GFBiochemicals, Towell Engineering formed a joint venture called NXTLEVVEL Biochem
  • Slow recovery in demand for Chinese sebacic acid
  • ABT increases its glycerine-based ECH capacity to 120 ktpa
  • Europe, Asia glycerine prices remain stable
  • Agthia Group launched its Al Ain 100% bio-based Plant Bottle
  • Resolute Forest Products will construct a commercial NFC facility in Quebec

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Polyurethanes & Intermediates
5 March 2020 Issue Number 292
  • Repsol Tarragona polyols running at reduced rates
  • Covestro TDI plant at Dormagen, Germany offline
  • PU markets worldwide anticipate disruption from COVID-19 virus
  • US BDO price increases announced
  • Few producers announce MDI price increases in the US
  • Covestro’s TDI to MDI plant on track to go online

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