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Spot prices of monopropylene glycol in Asia to be stable

December 05/2011

(ICIS) -- Spot prices of monopropylene glycol (MPG) in Asia are expected to be stable, with a downside bias, as producers unload inventory amid uncertainty in the global economic outlook, market sources said on Monday. Everybody wants to keep low stocks these days, said a Malaysian buyer.


On 2 December, MPG industrial grade (PGI) bulk cargoes were assessed at $1,700-1,730/tonne (?1,275-1,298/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) northeast (NE)/southeast (SE) Asia, unchanged from last week, according to ICIS data.


For MPG pharmaceutical grade (PG USP) drummed cargoes, prices were assessed at $1,900-1,930/tonne CFR NE Asia and $1,920-1,940/tonne CFR SE Asia in the week ended 2 December, according to data from ICIS. Producers tend to maintain low inventory levels towards the end of the year to reflect better profits in their accounting books, a PG USP maker said.


MPGs downstream sectors, including the unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) industry, are mostly procuring cargoes on a hand-to-mouth basis to control and keep levels of finished goods low, market sources said. Concerns about global demand amid the eurozone debt crisis, a weak US economy and a slowing down of Chinas growth have been keeping market players in the MPG markets sidelined.


A major US -based MPG producer, meanwhile, experienced a 20% month-on-month decline in sales over the same period. The producer is considering cutting its PGI bulk offers by $30/tonne in December to about $1,700-1,730/tonne CFR NE/SE Asia, market sources said. UPR is used in products like sink, pipes and water tanks.


For PG USP, demand has been mainly stable throughout the year. PG USP is used in the food and additives, pharmaceutical and personal care sectors. Offers for PGI from Singapore were slightly below $1,700/tonne CFR SE Asia, said the northeast Asian producer.


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