Asia petrochemical bolt bites as SE segment in recession, China direct wanes

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Petrochemical markets in Asia
are grappling with oversupply, with consumption
in a southeast segment weighed down by
retrogression in many vital economies, while the
months’ prolonged detonate of post-lockdown approach in
China is waning.

Downstream plants opposite a segment continue to
run during reduced rates due bad demand, with most
producers and end-users comparison saddled with high

Fears of another call of coronavirus infections
continue to border altogether mercantile activity.

Most vital countries in southeast Asia posted
pointy mercantile contractions in a second
quarter, while a series of infections in
countries such as Indonesia, a Philippines
and India continue to spike.

In China, that was a strange epicentre of
a outbreak, new cases are still being
reported daily.

Heightened uncertainties over the
doing of a US-China Phase 1 trade
also cloud a marketplace opinion for Asia

“To some border in China,
what we consider has happened is prolongation has got
forward of demand,” ICIS comparison consultant John
Richardson said.

“Some of a H1 numbers on petrochemicals
prolongation and net imports as a outcome point
towards overstocking,” he said.

Oil imports of a world’s second-biggest
economy grew scarcely 10% year on year in the
initial half “as refiners took advantage of cheap
crude, and as a government, we think, decided
to give prolongation all a approach down to
finished products a post-pandemic boost”,
Richardson said.

In a paraxylene (PX) market, a supply
overhang is approaching to insist by to
Sep notwithstanding outlay cuts triggered by weak
prolongation margins.

Inventories are high due to a complicated turnaround
report during downstream purified terephthalic
poison (PTA) comforts in August.

Demand from downstream polyester markets such
as textiles and panoply is being weighed down
by surging coronavirus infections in India,
that now has a third-highest cases globally
during scarcely 2.4m, and in Indonesia, that has the
second-highest series of infections in
southeast Asia.

Any near-term liberation is deemed fugitive for
a time being.

For xylene, informal supply is plenty due to
resigned import approach from China, where
inventories are high and storage space is

For isopropanol (IPA), supply is approaching to
widen as buyers have sufficient inventories.
Market view is bearish as upstream acetone
prices sojourn on a downtrend.

In a box of ethanolamines, supply is more
than sufficient to cover diseased demand, while for
methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), many would count on
how Chinese domestic approach will transport in the
nearby term.

In a polystyrene (PS) markets of a Middle
East and south Asia, cost support would
pulp as approach from China weakens.

Robust Chinese approach over a past dual months
had driven adult prices in a Middle Eastern and
south Asian markets, where expenditure is tepid
during this time of a year.

In a methyl tertiary
butyl sky (MTBE) market, support comes from
anniversary restocking of downstream gasoline in
China forward of a week-long National Day
holiday in October.

For linear alkylbenzene (LAB), supply in Asia
would tie with fewer trade volumes from
China, where domestic approach is robust.

Chinese suppliers were assisting cover
mandate in a internal marketplace with a section of
Jintung Chemical shut
given late July

For polyvinyl chloride (PVC), domestic demand
in China is approaching to be postulated during least
until a Oct holidays though is approaching to
finish off afterward as construction activities
will slack with a conflict of winter.

For ethyl acetate (etac), exports of
August-loading parcels from China were limited.
Negotiations are ongoing though during a delayed pace.

Producers are not obscure offers substantially
to say some margins due to a relatively
fast feedstock acetic poison market.

In a butyl acetate (butac) market, approach in
southeast Asia segment is still in a recovery
mode given some countries are still in

Any intensity uptick in near-term approach is
approaching to be gradual.

, Singapore and
have all reported unprecedented
GDP contractions in a Jun entertain as a
approach outcome of lockdowns adopted to contain
a lethal novel coronavirus pandemic.

Spot marketplace activity for
petrochemicals is being hampered by high
inventories during both producers and end-users

For fake rubber, “demand has faded out
amid cost increases”, ICIS researcher Ann Sun

“We have seen tyre exports collect adult amid the
tellurian lockdowns. Therefore, diseased buying
seductiveness of fake rubber is a pointer of a
rave of register from Apr to Jul rather
than negligence down finish consumption,” she said.

Pre-holiday restocking in China is not expected
to be as clever as in a past years as buyers
have sufficient supply and with new capacities
entrance on tide from Aug to OCtober, she

China will applaud a week-long National Day
on 1-7 October.

“Demand from southeast Asia is approaching to
offer some-more support to prices than China,” Sun

In a polyethylene (PE) market, many buyers in
China have built adult high register given the
second quarter, when prices were depressed,
ICIS researcher Amy Yu said.

“They will digest these inventories before
restocking, that will border a partial of demand
in September,” Yu said.

PE approach is also seasonally diseased in August
given high temperatures in many of China.

Some pick-up in expenditure is probable in
September, when prolongation in downstream
industries enters rise season, Yu said, citing
a rural film, construction and
prolongation industries.

“Many of these will need to feed PE
cargoes before Oct holiday,” she said.

For polypropylene (PP), “buyers sojourn cautious
about restocking, with a hazard of a second
call of a coronavirus in vital markets across
southeast Asia and augmenting supply”, ICIS
researcher Joey Zhou said.

“PP approach for use in woven bags and pipes is
approaching to urge subsequent month when a impact
of inundate disaster eases in some provinces, and
PP approach could boost as construction
resumes,” she said.


China, that is a world’s second-biggest
economy and Asia’s largest, managed to reverse
a GDP contraction in a second quarter,
being a initial to emerge from a paralyzing
lockdown prompted by a pandemic.

More than a month into a second half of the
year, a tellurian design is still perplexed with

“China’s genuine GDP expansion was zero like 3.2%
– a central series – when we demeanour during all
a underlying data. [For example] H1 retail
sales, nonetheless many improved than a rest of
a world, was down 11.4%,” ICIS senior
consultant Richardson said.

“Future trade orders are down, and can this
form of pestilence approach reinstate all a lost
orders in other areas? we doubt it. Textiles,
for example, are a really critical partial of
China’s trade mix,” Richardson said.

China is mostly approaching to flex a financial
flesh to boost a economy serve in the
second half of a year.

But exports, a vital mercantile expansion engine for
China, might not urge many with a rest of
a universe servile in a pandemic-induced

Insight by Pearl Bantillo

Photo: A Filipino wearing a face facade walks
outward of a sanatorium in Manila, Philippines.

Additional stating by Jonathan Chou,
Keven Zhang, Samuel Wong, Yuanlin Koh, Prateek
Pillai and Melanie Wee

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