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Market Movers Asia


Market Movers - Asia, Oct 16-20: All eyes on 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress

With Pamela Sumayao, Associate Editor, Petrochemicals

October 16, 2017 10:00:37 EST (2:53)

China is holding its 19th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on October 18. This will determine the direction of the country for the next five years. The meeting could foreshadow changes to national policy, particularly in the domestic coal sector, including a possible tinkering to import markets.


China is set to release its GDP for the first three quarters of 2017 on October 19, as well as key commodity production data.


The oil market is keeping an eye out on a key condensate tender from Qatar due on Wednesday. Qatar is expected to receive healthy premiums for the December-loading cargoes, as Asian refiners are actively seeking spot supplies after their term allocations were cut from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi for November-loading barrels.


Meanwhile, an arbitrage opens for fuel ethanol from the US to China.


Associate editor Pamela Sumayao looks at these and other factors that could move Asian commodity markets this week.


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Video Transcript


The highlights on Platts Market Movers Asia this week: Results of a key condensate tender from Qatar due Wednesday, the startup of a petrochemical plant in Taiwan delayed, and an arbitrage opens for fuel ethanol from the US to China.


Kicking off with China, the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress will open in Beijing Wednesday, which will determine the direction of the country for the next five years.


The meeting could foreshadow changes to national policy particularly in the domestic coal sector, including a possible tinkering to import markets.


China will release its GDP for the first three quarters of the year on Thursday, as well as key commodity production data. For the first two quarters, it posted 6.9 per cent GDP growth.


In oil, a spot tender for Qatar's flagship deodorized field condensate and low sulfur condensate will conclude Wednesday. The result is expected to be announced later the same day.


Qatar is expected to receive healthy premiums for the December-loading cargoes. Asian refiners are actively seeking spot supplies after their term allocations were cut from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi for November-loading barrels.


The recent uptick in light distillate product margins have been supportive of regional ultra-light crude grades. Australia's North West Shelf condensate cargoes for loading in December are fetching premiums of more than two dollars fifty a barrel to Platts Dated Brent crude assessments on an FOB basis.


In Taiwan, Oriental Petrochemical's startup of a one point five million metric ton a year purified terephthalic acid plant at Taoyuan has been pushed back to end October from earlier in the month. A source close to the company said this is to meet a final round of government requirements.


In agriculture, an arbitrage window for fuel ethanol from the US to China has opened as prices weaken in the US and rise in China. Offers for US ethanol are currently 60 to 70 dollars per metric ton lower than domestic prices in China.


In metals, Australian alumina will start the week with prices up more than 20 percent from the month before, driven by higher domestic prices in China, which are up almost 18 percent from September. Both domestic and import prices in China rose 3 percent last week in anticipation of more refinery cuts during winter and uncertainty over bauxite supply.


However, Chinese aluminum prices have not risen in tandem and some smelters are already running at a loss. So, our social media question for the week is, how much further can alumina really climb?


Let us know your views via Twitter, use hashtag PlattsMM. Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!





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