Asian paraxylene prices rose last week compared to a week earlier on stronger crude futures, and may continue to see support this week if the rally sustains.
Asian benzene prices, however, slipped last week as market participants were cautious amid plunging prices of downstream styrene monomer in China. Inventories in China also continued to hover at high levels, with stocks in the major port of Jiangsu estimated to be 12,300 mt higher on the week at 211,900 mt last Friday — indicating weaker demand versus incoming supply, which should also weigh on prices this week. Talk in the market also revolved around changing trade flows, with Petro Rabigh’s Phase II operational, while Vietnam’s Nghi Son refinery was expected to start shipping commercial product early May.
Asian toluene was buoyed last week by stronger crude. Demand and supply fundamentals were, however, viewed as less promising, given muted demand and the naturally long market. Nonetheless, the influence of energy markets will continue to supersede these concerns this week.