The Week in Chemistry: US spot resin trading slows as buyers push for lower prices, global PX market faces slow recovery in demand out of China; Saudi Arabia looks to collaborate with China on chemicals projects

Sample article from our Chemicals Industry

LOS ANGELES , June 16, 2023 () –


US Resins 

The first week of June saw slower spot resin trading as buyers pushed for still lower prices, according to the PlasticsExchange report.

The volumes of PE traded were about consistent with previous weeks in 2023, but prices continued to decline, losing about a cent for all grades.

Average spot PE prices have decreased by an average of US$0.097/lb since mid-March, netting a $0.04/lb decrease for 2023 so far.

Meanwhile, PE contracts in May held flat, keeping their $0.06/lb gains achieved thus far in 2023.

PP resins during the first week of June also fell by a cent amid strong availability of both prime and off-grade material at discounted prices.

PP exports in May surpassed their 12-month average by 40%.

The primary source of this information is Plastics Today.


Global Paraxylene

The global paraxylene market still awaits a recovery in downstream demand from China, where buying interest remains subdued.

Margins for PX producers is relatively stable, but additional supply may pressure pricing downward as capacities resume operations after maintenance season.

However, China’s increasing PTA capacity could lend support to PX demand, with some producers looking to 2024 for strong demand growth.

In Europe, downstream PET consumption has remained slower than typically seen due to May’s cooler weather. 

Europe’s PX production for spot use will likely be low due to the availability of competitively priced material out of Asia, market players say.

In the US, PX imports for Q1 2023 increased 80% year-over-year to 270,048 tonnes. However, the strong consumption appeared to quickly decrease as the country faces macroeconomic concerns.

The primary source of this information is S&P Global Platts.


Saudi Arabia, among China’s top oil suppliers, is now hoping to expand its collaboration with the country through a range of projects including crude-to-chemicals production, according to energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

As an example, Aramco will begin construction this year on a 300,000-barrel/day refinery in northeast China.

The converted chemicals that Saudi Arabia wants to produce will primarily be sold to the Asian market, including China and India, the energy minister said. 

Saudi Arabia is interested in developing crude-to-chemicals projects both within and outside the country.

The primary source of this information is S&P Global Platts.


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