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Market Movers Asia, Jul 23-27: US-China trade tensions continue; soybean CFR China premiums in free fall

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Watch: Market Movers Asia, Jul 23-27: US-China trade tensions continue; soybean CFR China premiums in free fall

Asian crude traders will be keeping a close watch on VLCC tankers carrying US crude that are set to reach China in the coming days. China's state-owned trader Unipec bought the light sweet cargoes in May, and traders said it may now consider reselling some of them in the Asian spot market due to the US-China trade war.

The US-China tension is also expected to impact Asian low density polyethylene demand. While US tariffs on Chinese goods do not directly involve polyethylene, they affect finished products made of resin. As such, some convertors with plans to expand are putting off their purchases for resin and machines.

Meanwhile, soybean premiums have started to cool in Brazil and China as buyers are put off by recent rises in prices caused by the Chinese tariffs on US origin soybeans. The US traditionally represents 35% to 40% of China's soybean imports.

Still in agriculture, Thai sugar cash premiums for next season have firmed following China's announcement of a uniform 90% out-of-quota import duty from August.

View Full Transcript

This week, US-China trade tensions continue, soybean CFR China premiums in freefall, and India's petcoke buyers await a key decision.

But first, in oil, Asian crude traders will be keeping a close watch on VLCC tankers carrying US crude that are set to reach China in the coming days. China's state-owned trader Unipec bought the light sweet cargoes in May, and traders said it may now consider reselling some of them in the Asian spot market due to the US-China trade war.

China has not yet hiked taxes on US crude oil imports, but this could change any time as tensions heat up, and Beijing may decide to levy a hefty 25% tariff on American energy products.

China was the second largest importer of US crude in 2017, accounting for 20% of the total US exports.

The US-China tension is also expected to impact Asian low density polyethylene demand. While US tariffs on Chinese goods do not directly involve polyethylene, they affect finished products made of resin. As such, some convertors with plans to expand are putting off their purchases for resin and machines.

Last week, US President Donald Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on all US $500 billion worth of goods the US imports from China. Markets await China's response.

So the question this week is, do you think the US will impose tariffs on all its imports from China? Let us know what you think using the hashtag PlattsMM.

In agriculture, premiums have started to cool in Brazil and China as buyers are put off by recent rises in prices caused by the Chinese tariffs on US origin soybeans. The US traditionally represents 35 to 40% of China's soybean imports.

CFR China premiums are falling and market participants expect the decline to continue on a lack of demand, leaving buyer positions open for November arrival. Stay tuned for more soybeans price information from Platts, with CFR China and FOB Brazil assessments starting on July 31.

Still in agriculture, Thai sugar cash premiums for next season have firmed following China's announcement of a uniform 90% out-of-quota import duty from August. This development is bullish for Thai sugar and cash values are expected to be buoyed this week, since sugar exports to China from Central America will be priced out against Thailand, from where freight is cheaper.

That's it for this week. Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us and have a great week ahead!