Markets are quiet with imports and exports dominating the discussions. USGC August contract was fully settled this week at 69 cpp, an increase of 6.15 cpp. Spot values must have set the direction of the settlement as MX contract barely moved up. Exports are reportedly flowing to Asia due to some outage in Singapore. Imports are said to be coming into the BP system. Spot values are hard to come by, but are nominally 1300-1375 $/Ton. Demand is still not as strong as usual, and exports will be moving into markets that are 150 $/Ton lower after US discounts. At least, US downstream prices will be moving up this month and the pipeline of imports has slowed so perhaps growth will be moving as well.
Contract for August settled up €135 at €1130. At the average exchange rate for the month to date, this is a little less than $30 over the Asian contract of $1365. The spot market remains thin, with all consumers well covered by contract quantities. There is trader interest to buy above $1300, either for export or as position taking ahead of scheduled shutdowns in September and October. Offers are not seen below contract levels.
Spot PX has improved another $30-$35 over last week, supported by firm crude/naphtha value, better polyester sentiments and coming start up of delayed new PTA plants in China. Spot ranged $1420-$1430 CFR Taiwan/China for September last Friday and it improved to $1450-$1460 CFR this week with deals done at $1445 and $1455 CFR Taiwan/China for September. Nominal August parcel was talking 5 $/MT higher than September. Today’s market is flat and assessed at $1450-$1460 CFR Taiwan/China for September.
PX sentiment has been continuously supported by buying interest from traders who need to cover contractual volume, and better PTA price also psychologically boosted PX price. PTA price has improved to $1030-$1040 CFR China that is $35 higher than last week. News of delayed new plants start up during August kept sellers to a minimum. Asian balance remain tight for September with PX production cut with turnaround while PTA plants start up. In economics, PX spread stable at $520 over naphtha that is still healthy margin for px producers.
PX operation in NE Asia has been increased a little and overall operation rate would be at around 85%, but it would increase further soon as plants restart from China after turnarounds. Urumqi PC 1,000 KT under turnaround from mid July for 20 days and plan to restart soon and Fujia Dahua 700 KT also under shut down by mid-August. Korean producers operating at almost full rate now, but SKGC #2 PX (350 KT) has plan for shut 40 days for maintenance on October together with reformer turnaround and KP chemical has plan for PX turnaround on October for 20 days also. Operation in Japan, JX Kawasaki (350 KT) has plan for turnaround for 40 days from mid-August and Idemitsu Tokuyama (200 KT) also has 40 days maintenance on September. Taiwan operation has been improved with CPC #2 (220 KT) restarted after around a 5 month shutdown from March while FCFC#2 (580 KT) under turnaround until August 20. Meanwhile, PTA operation has been stable at around 80% in NE Asia including China.