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Market Highlights

Fibres & Intermediates
30 June 2020 Issue Number 430
  • Chinese acrylic fibre consumers stockpile material as feedstock costs rise
  • Acrylic fibre operating rates in Europe to remain a low 40-50% in June
  • Chinese polyamide filament prices up due to higher feedstock costs
  • Polyester filament operating rates in Taiwan cut to 30-40% due to soft demand
  • Demand improves for nonwoven applications for face mask production
  • Indonesia becomes largest exporter of viscose staple to Europe

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Engineering Thermoplastics
30 June 2020 Issue Number 143
  • ABS prices strengthen in Asia; fall in Europe and US for May
  • Polyamide still suffering as global markets hit by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Polyacetals markets suffer less exposure to the automotive industry than most ETPs
  • PBT market struggles to rebound as automotive market makes slow recovery
  • Bio-based and recyclable/compostable plastics projects forge ahead, despite global slowdown
  • Polycarbonate demand into medical and protective equipment soars

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Unsaturated Polyester Resins
29 June 2020 Issue Number 144
  • US UPR demand continues to improve, prices and margins largely stable
  • European UPR prices down €10-20/ton, demand off by 20-30% compared to normal
  • Chinese UPR market prices stable, operating rates declined by 1-2% in June
  • Maleic anhydride prices mixed, demand remains soft
  • US styrene spot prices much firmer. European prices up $10-20/ton compared to May
  • European phthalic anhydride prices firmer but US values stable

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Epoxy Resins & Co-Reactants
26 June 2020 Issue Number 045
  • LER/SER prices in the US and Europe see further drops in June
  • Recovery and rising feedstocks in the US/Europe will see tough July LER negotiations
  • Bisphenol A values in Asia climb significantly despite mediocre demand
  • BPA supply to remain short in China until August – prices remain high
  • Jiangsu Haixing overcomes technical issues and ECH supply improved in mid June
  • Chinese ECH producers eye arbitrage window to Asia

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Polyamide & Intermediates
26 June 2020 Issue Number 482
  • Global economies struggle to restart as COVID-19 crisis continues
  • Weak demand seen during June in US, Europe polyamide markets
  • China caprolactam prices increase in line with higher benzene values
  • Cyclohexanone export trade from China remains quiet during June
  • Polyamide fibre markets waiting for signs of recovery in July/Q3
  • INVISTA holds ground breaking ceremony for China adiponitrile unit
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Ethylene Glycols • EO & EODs
26 June 2020 Issue Number 385
  • Ethylene firms $240/ton in China, €60/ton in Europe and 3.5 c/lb in the US
  • Chinese spot MEG at $410-430/ton cfr with good demand but ample availability
  • June Europe ECP settles at €455/ton ddp for MEG. Spot prices above €400/ton fca
  • Stable-to-firm MEG prices in the US. Exports reached 235,000 tons in April
  • Despite higher feedstocks, ethanolamines stable/weak globally amid soft demand
  • Low demand and crude values lengthen DEG and TEG with stable to soft prices

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Chlorine & Derivatives
26 June 2020 Issue Number 478
  • US EDC prices surge tracking Asian numbers
  • US domestic vinyls demand rebounds, although infections spike threatens recovery
  • US PVC export prices surge on improved global demand
  • Asian PVC prices jump on surging ethylene
  • European PVC prices increase in line with ethylene
  • Chlorine demand in Asia improves supported by bullish vinyls markets

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Phenol · Acetone & Derivatives
25 June 2020 Issue Number 306
  • Phenol prices in China and Asia climb but soft demand brings a correction
  • Unplanned and scheduled turnarounds in Asia and China tighten acetone supply
  • Acetone prices in China and Asia climb to historic highs
  • Bisphenol A values in Asia climb significantly despite mediocre demand
  • Chinese polycarbonate producers’ margins struggling with high BPA costs
  • MMA spot prices in China climb by almost 40% in June

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PET Packaging Resin
24 June 2020 Issue Number 284
  • Paraxylene and PTA prices reflect feedstock strength, but demand weaker still
  • Isophthalic acid prices lower in all regions, as capacity rises and demand falls
  • Ethylene firms $240/ton in China, €60/ton in Europe and 3.5 c/lb in the US
  • Chinese spot MEG around $410-430/ton cfr with good demand, ample availability
  • May Europe ECP settles at €455/ton ddp for MEG, with firm prices in the US
  • Production of PET packaging resin in India has recovered to normal levels

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Polyester & Intermediates
24 June 2020 Issue Number 482
  • Paraxylene and PTA prices reflect feedstock strength, but demand weaker still
  • Isophthalic acid prices lower in all regions, as capacity rises and demand falls
  • Ethylene firms $240/ton in China, €60/ton in Europe and 3.5 c/lb in the US
  • Polyester filament plants in West Europe operate at 50% of capacity at best
  • Operating rates for Chinese polyester staple producers are high at 85-90%
  • Production of PET packaging resin in India has recovered to normal levels

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Caustic Soda
23 June 2020 Issue Number 478
  • US contract prices roll over in June after increasing for three consecutive months
  • South America poor demand for PVC continues to impact caustic soda production
  • Northwest European demand is soft, chlorine & caustic soda rebalances
  • Southeast Asia spot import prices fall amid increased supply
  • Spot supply from South Korea rises after maintenances
  • China spot exports business slows down amid soft Asian prices

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Orthoxylene · Phthalic Anhydride
17 June 2020 Issue Number 498
  • Global mixed xylenes prices recover as gasoline demand picks up
  • The US orthoxylene contract price for June increases to 24.5 c/lb
  • European orthoxylene contract price for June settles €45/ton higher at €545/ton
  • Orthoxylene supply in Asia is ample as Chinese demand remains stable
  • US phthalic anhydride demand steady to soft while Europe begins recovery
  • China naphthalene prices fluctuating, causing phthalic anhydride volatility

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Phthalates · Oxo-Alcohols
16 June 2020 Issue Number 462
  • US plasticisers remain steady in June
  • European plasticisers remains weak, although a slight improvement has been noted
  • US Oxo alcohols prices stable in June
  • Oxo alcohols prices in Europe move up slightly on higher propylene
  • Plasticisers prices in China continue their uptrend amid improved demand
  • Oxo producers in China increase 2-EH production amid improved margins

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Maleic Anhydride · 1,4-Butanediol
16 June 2020 Issue Number 350
  • Maleic markets in Europe and the US start to show signs of recovery
  • UPR market places strong hopes on June/July for construction-based demand uptick
  • BDO still facing tough demand scenario as automotive sector remains weak
  • PU coatings and shoe sole sector starting to see improvement in sales
  • PTMEG markets still weak due to limited offtake
  • Spandex operating rates rise to 80% in China as markets restart


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Acetic Acid · Vinyl Acetate
12 June 2020 Issue Number 393
  • Acetic acid demand in US, Europe, slows due to ongoing COVID-19 crisis
  • China domestic acetic acid prices soften in late May on softer demand
  • Celanese VAM plant in Germany idled in early June on weak demand
  • China VAM export prices reach multi-year lows as demand wanes
  • Europe ethyl acetate market slows in late May amid ample supply
  • Global methanol prices slump in early June as inventory levels increase

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Acrylic Acid & Acrylates
12 June 2020 Issue Number 350
  • US propylene contract price for May settles at a rollover
  • Upswing in European propylene values as June contract settles up €60/ton
  • US spot BA prices soften on slow demand and ample supply
  • European acrylic acid spot prices soften despite firmer propylene
  • Chinese GAA prices steady on stable demand and low inventory
  • Japanese AA and acrylates demand estimated down 30% in May and June

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Bio-Materials & Intermediates
11 June 2020 Issue Number 082
  • Special Report: Red-hot demand for pyrolysis-based plastic recycling collaborations
  • P&G, Cargill collaborates on bio-based acrylic acid
  • COVID-19 pandemic hits Chinese sebacic production
  • US fatty acids buyers have stopped building inventories amid weak demand
  • Global fatty alcohol supply remains tight on good demand, lower production
  • Global glycerine price surge expected to reach its peak
  • Viscose staple demand at low levels with no recovery expected until the autumn

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Polyurethanes & Intermediates
11 June 2020 Issue Number 295
  • European markets still weak but sentiment is improving
  • Construction leading demand in Europe and the US
  • PU prices continue to soften in most regions
  • Automotive remains weak for most players
  • Foam plants restart production but demand is lacklustre
  • MDI, TDI and polyols plants still operating at low levels in the US and Europe

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