News Code : 44117

The Asian purified terephthalic acid CFR China marker tumbled $50/mt week on week to $495/mt last Friday amid weak upstream and poor demand, the lowest level since S&P Global Platts started assessing it on April 7, 2008.

Petrotahlil - Similarly, the Chinese domestic prompt PTA also fell to the lowest level since then at Yuan 3,762/mt last Friday, equivalent to around $475/mt CFR China on an import-parity value.

The sudden slump in PTA prices resulted from falling upstream crude oil and feedstock paraxylene, which have tumbled 30% and 11% to be assessed at $34.57/b and $610.67/mt CFR Taiwan/China, respectively, last Friday at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), Platts data showed.

The PTA-feedstock PX spread was calculated at $88.90/mt last Friday, below the typical breakeven level of around $85-$120/mt for Asian PTA plants.

Weak PTA fundamentals continue pressurizing Asian PTA prices due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In China, overall PTA stocks have hit around 3 million mt amid improving yet still weak demand, more than double of the typical PTA inventory level, sources said.

The overall run rate at Chinese PTA plants has fallen eight percentage points to around 78% last Friday, after China's Fuhaichuang Petroleum and Petrochemical shut its 4.5 million mt/year PTA plant in Gulei for an around 12-day maintenance due to poor profit margin, and Hengli Petrochemical shut its 2.2 million mt/year No. 3 PTA line at Dalian for two weeks due to a technical glitch last week, as Platts reported earlier.

In other northeast Asian regions, the overall run rate of PTA in Taiwan was decreasing with producers standing firm on offers to support profit margins, while South Korean PTA plants are running per normal so far, according to sources.

Weak demand from Europe amid the coronavirus outbreak will pressure South Korean PTA producers, two sources said.

"It already is [happening], some [European customers] are asking to postpone shipments and the demand quantity has decreased," a Korean PTA producer said, adding that the issue of Letter of Credit is affected as well at Europe

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Platts 

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