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International AS (AS) market

Views:15     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2019-08-27      Origin:Site


In the downturn of the market this week, China's caprolactam grade AS prices remain basically unchanged, prices of Sept is 116-118 US dollars / ton FOB, but traders are seeking lower prices Entering the Southeast Asian market, it is reported that most of the sales price is 115-117 US dollars / ton FOB.

A Chinese producer sold 22,000 tons of caprolactam at a price of US$116-117/tonne FOB and will be shipped to Indonesia via traders in early September.

The price of extruded granular AS is 145-150 US dollars / ton FOB, and the higher grade AS particles are 155-157 US dollars / ton.

Operating rate is still falling

The reduction in production maintains the price. The operating rate of caprolactam in China is about 77%, and the operating rate of still grade unit is slightly higher, about 80%.

Sinopec's three AS plants are about 70% operational. After the explosion of exploded a chemical plant in March near Jiangsu Haili, the 300,000 t/y unit is still under strict environmental control and is expected to restart next month. Juhua is also operating below full capacity due to overhaul. .


Apromaco purchased 6,000 tons of internal AS from a Chinese manufacturer, at the price of 137-139 US dollars / ton CFR, will be shipped at the end of August, can not be directly confirmed.

Baconco also purchased 6,000 tons of AS on the market and shipped it in September.

Imports increased in July

According to customs data, the import volume of AS in Vietnam was 62597 tons in July, up from 51554 tons in June, an increase of 27%. The total imports from January to July 2019 were 552,889 tons, which was basically the same as the 575,698 tons imported in the first seven months of 2018.


There is a buyer in the market who wants 6,000 tons of caprolactam grade AS, which is required to be loaded at the end of August or early September. The target price is CFR Dumai USD 140/ton or lower, and the freight from China is as high as US$27-29/ton.

Small 1,000 tons of caprolactam AS is being transported in containers, and the pric CFR Surabaya is 134-136 US dollars / ton.


Indonesia's imports are expected to decline this year due to the decline in the value of the main crop palm oil and weak domestic fertilizer demand.


An importer has been asking about the price of 6,000 tons, but has not yet requested delivery, and needs to unload at two ports. China's freight is $27-29/ton.

Taiwan, China

The operating rate of caprolactam is relatively low, about 55%, which keeps the output of AS exports to Southeast Asia at a low level.

According to GTT data, the latest export data for the first half of 2019 showed that AS exports fell 18% to 190,629 tons, compared with 232,571 tons from January to June 2018. Exports in June increased from 36,397 tons in the same period last year to 41.907 million tons, an increase of 15% year-on-year.

From January to June this year, Taiwan’s main market Malaysia’s exports, was slightly above 100,000 tons, down 14% from 117,000 tons in the first half of 2018. Sales to Vietnam and Indonesia have also declined.


Agromate purchased 6,000 tons of MMA grade AS from Dongying at a FOB price $103/ton.


Customs data showed that South Korea's AS exports exceeded 50,000 tons in July, driven by strong sales in Turkey and New Zealand, up 65% year-on-year.

Exports to Turkey in July were 33,000 tons, and exports to New Zealand were 17,000 tons.

From January to July this year, South Korea's AS exports increased by 16%, and exports reached 369,000 tons, higher than 317,000 tons in the first seven months of 2018. Key January-July shipments ($000 tons in brackets last year): Turkey 140 (89), Mexico 135 (110), New Zealand 39 (60), India 30 (49) and US 22 (0).

United States

Ultramar will ship a batch of 20,000 tons of AS and phosphate cargo to the United States.


Adequate supply and weak demand for the upcoming safrinha season, inhibiting new buying interest. Fertilizer buyers are still waiting for news on agricultural trade negotiations between China and the United States, and demand is expected to pick up in September.

Market prices remain unchanged, with China's granular AS quoted at $175-180/tonne CFR, while higher quality AS pellets are quoted at $190-195/ton CFR, and European sellers are looking for $197-199/ton CFR extruded particles.


China's standard grade ammonium sulfate is priced at $142-145/tonne CFR, while European producers are asking for $147-149/tonne CFR.

Fibrant has sold a shipment with another European manufacturer and will ship it at the end of August for a price of $197-199/tonne CFR. Goods in September are expected to be as high as $200-205/tonne CFR.

This week's report shows that as of mid-September, there will be 9 ships with approximately 324,000 tons of AS reaching the Brazilian port. China is dominant, with only one shipment coming from the United States.

Canada/United States AS to Canada and the United States from August to September.

Northwestern Europe

The decline in demand for caprolactam for the automotive and construction industries means that many European producers are forced to reduce their operating rates. It is estimated that the operating rate of the European plant is about 80%, reducing the production of ammonium sulfate.

Due to harvests and summer holidays, the demand for AS in Europe has been seasonally reduced. Many compound fertilizer producers have already purchased standard grade AS. In view of the tight supply in the region, some companies purchase in advance according to the ratio. The extrusion plant will enter the market in September, and the price of granular AS in Europe has started to rise due to lower supply.

OCI continues to sell a limited number of 3mm AS pellets in France, with an August delivery price of €217/tonne CPT, which is about €3/ton higher than in July. In Germany, the OCI 3mm AS granule price is 210/ton CIF, and the inland 2mm AS pellet is 185-188 euro/ton CIF. The standard grade AS price is 125 Euro/ton CIF.


Alexfert will direct its 10,000 ton/month granular AS unit to the domestic market in August. The manufacturer currently does not provide AS for export.



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