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Asian monomer markets react after crude oil surge

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 17/09/2019 (11:33)
Monomer markets in Asia have got off to a fast start this week, following the news that Saudi Aramco’s oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia became the target of highly disruptive drone attacks on the night of September 14. The attack cost Saudi Aramco nearly half of its daily oil output, which in turn resulted in a global daily loss of 5%, and sent the Asian monomer markets into a jitter.

Oil prices see largest spike in almost three decades

Although gains began receding later during the day, Brent crude oil futures recorded the largest intra-day jump since 1991 during the early trading hours of September 16. At the start of trading on the same day, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude on NYMEX surged by around 15% and marked the largest intra-day jump since more than twenty years.

Naphtha sends bullish signals

The drone attack sparked another swift response, this time with naphtha prices in Asia. During the early hours of September 16, naphtha jumped as high as 5% from the previous settlement on September 13. Market sources cited the recent output cut-backs at several Saudi producers’ petrochemical plants and reported that there were bullish signals in the naphtha market.

Spot PX prices track soaring crude

Spot PX prices in Asia tracked upstream values on September 16, logging a daily increase of nearly 5% over the previous settlement. Supported by the ongoing concerns over a long-term impact of oil supply disruption, spot prices on FOB Korea basis reached a month-high, as data from ChemOrbis Wizard shows.

Benzene markets hit more-than-a- year high in Asia

Asian spot benzene markets immediately felt the impact in crude oil surge, with prices on both FOB Korea and CFR China basis seeing a daily jump of more than 5% at the start of the week. According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, this daily gain carried spot benzene in Asia to its highest levels in more than a year.

Spot styrene logs daily gain of 3%

Although spot styrene prices on FOB Korea and CFR China basis ended last week with a loss of around $50/ton, the shock waves set off by the attack reached spot styrene markets on September 16. The market witnessed a hefty daily jump of around 3%, nearly paring the losses suffered last week.

Olefins remain cautious as uncertainty weighs

Players in the spot ethylene and propylene markets have taken up a more tentative approach towards the recent developments. Despite the prevalent uncertainty, early discussions for spot propylene pointed at small gains while the ethylene market kept on monitoring a potential impact on supplies.

Futures of two prime PET feedstocks also surge

The January futures for MEG, the most actively traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), closed CNY237/ton ($33/ton) higher at CNY4968/ton ($620/ton without VAT) on September 16. This indicated a weekly increase of around 5.2%.

PTA futures on the Chinese Zhengzhou Exchange also went up CNY166/ton ($23/ton) on the same day, closing at CNY5270/ton ($660/ton).
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