For the Quarter Ending September 2023
In the North American market, H Acid experienced a decline in price trends during the third quarter, concluding in September 2023. This was primarily attributed to diminished demand from downstream ventures and ample stocks in storage units, prompting a downward trajectory in H Acid prices. Concurrently, feedstock Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid prices rose, while Ammonia exhibited an opposing trend. The domestic market witnessed a decline in H Acid prices due to low demand and production cuts by enterprises. Abundant product supplies in storage units, coupled with weak demand from China to the USA, led to decreased trading activities. Despite the end of the National Holiday in China in early October 2023, demand remained lackluster, with low purchasing activities and suppliers hesitating to raise quotations for the domestic market. Additionally, despite the US economy's two-year growth spurt, inflation persisted above the 2% target level despite high-interest rates.
The third quarter of 2023 saw a decline in H Acid prices, reaching USD 4800/MT (FOB-Qingdao) due to lackluster demand from downstream Dye Intermediate enterprises and sufficient stocks in storage units. Adequate inventory met downstream demand, eliminating the need for restocking. Furthermore, prices of upstream Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid decreased due to ample inventory and slow market offtakes. Conversely, Ammonia prices increased due to rapid consumption and a surge in the Urea market, impacting production costs. The commodity's operating rate decreased, supporting its price trend. A narrow spread between end products and feedstocks indicated a bearish market, accompanied by a significant drop in demand from downstream Dye Intermediate and Textile enterprises. Suppliers adjusted offers, providing discounts on bulk purchases to cope with the dull market situation.
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In the European market, H Acid prices followed a downward trend during the third quarter ending in September 2023. Trade between China and Belgium ensured sufficient H Acid supply, eliminating the need for storage unit restocking. Feedstock prices for Naphthalene and Sulphuric Acid increased, while Ammonia prices followed suit. The weak market prompted producers to reduce production rates. A dip in demand from downstream Dyes Intermediate markets was met by existing inventories, contributing to a decline in production rates to prevent oversupply. In October 2023, a low customer index and a fall in the inflation rate from 4.3% in September to 2.9% contributed to the Petrochemical enterprises' low price trend. Despite the upcoming festive season, consumer prices reached their lowest since July 2021. The narrow spread between end products and feedstocks indicated a bearish market situation.
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