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Asian monoethylene glycol spikes to three-month high, but margins remain negative

Singapore (Platts)--29 Dec 2017 619 am EST/1119 GMT


Asian monoethylene glycol rose $11/mt day on day to be assessed at $942/mt Thursday, the highest since September 12 when it was assessed at $949/mt, S&P Global Platts data showed.

From a week earlier, the CFR China MEG price was up $22/mt.

Asian MEG has been rising through the week amid tighter spot supply as well as rising Western crude oil futures.

February ICE Brent futures were assessed at $66.62/b Thursday, up $2.01/b from a week earlier, Platts data showed.

Asian MEG margins on a spot basis, however, remained in negative territory at minus $36/mt Thursday, compared to minus $35/mt on Wednesday. Asian MEG production margins remained under pressure amid high ethylene feedstock prices.

Asian ethylene was firm this week, with the CFR Northeast Asia marker assessed at a 10-month high of $1,380/mt Thursday, Platts data showed. It is likely to continue firm in the near term on strong spot demand and slow term contract negotiations.

Market sources said that ethylene term contract negotiations are likely to carry on till February as end-users were reluctant to accept the high offers from suppliers. Initial ethylene term contract offers for 2018 were at a premium of $80/mt based on a CFR Northeast Asia-related formula, around $30-35/mt higher than a year earlier.

Asian MEG prices are likely to ease in January as demand is expected to wane once downstream polyester plants shut for maintenance and due to a seasonal lull during the Lunar New Year holidays, market sources said. Prices might rebound in late February on post-holiday demand as well as tight supply ahead of the maintenance season in the second quarter.

--Fumiko Dobashi, fumiko.dobashi@spglobal.com

--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@spglobal.com




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