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Watch: All eyes on China's 'blue skies' announcement; Chinese LPG buyers seen to keep reselling US-origin cargoes

As the US-China trade war continues, Chinese LPG buyers are expected to continue reselling their US-origin cargoes, while taking in barrels from elsewhere. This move is seen to push up prices for non-US LPG for prompt delivery in the coming weeks.

The LNG industry also continues to assess the impact of a potential 25% Chinese tariff on US LNG imports. If imposed, the tariff could affect future Atlantic-Pacific trade flows, and provide a lift to near-term Asian LNG prices.

Meanwhile, the steel and metals markets are waiting for an official announcement on whether China will suspend more steel capacity in the coming winter heating season. An analysis jointly published by S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence outlines the "2+42" cities that are likely to be affected.

In petrochemicals, margins for paraxylene producers from CFR Japan naphtha hit a near two-year early this month and market participants expect the bull run to continue for another two weeks, until the September futures contract expires.

View Full Transcript

This week, markets are watching for details of China's "blue-sky" campaign, early winter LNG procurements, and margins for paraxylene producers.

But first, an update on the US-China trade war: Chinese LPG buyers will likely continue reselling their US-origin cargoes, while taking in barrels from elsewhere, ahead of a 25% additional tariff on US LPG imports from August 23. The move is expected to push up prices for non-US LPG cargoes for prompt delivery in the coming weeks. Our sources say Chinese importers are already willing to pay an extra 5 dollars to 10 dollars per metric ton for non-US origin LPG cargoes due to limited availability. This comes after China last week announced retaliatory tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of US imports, including propane, butane and oil products, in a new list of affected goods.

The LNG industry is also continuing to assess the impact of a potential 25% Chinese tariff on US LNG imports. If imposed, the tariff could affect future Atlantic-Pacific trade flows, and provide a lift to near-term Asian LNG prices. Also in LNG, the market will keep a close eye on early-winter procurement by major northeast Asian end-users, who are sitting on reduced inventory levels due to the recent heat-wave across Japan and South Korea.

Moving to metals, where there is a lot of talk about whether the Chinese government will suspend more steel capacity during the coming winter heating season. An analysis jointly published by S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence outlines the "2+42" cities that are likely to be affected. The market is waiting for an official announcement that is expected to be made any time soon.

So for our social media question this week: Will Chinese steel mill margins hold up across the winter heating season? Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag PlattsMM.

And finally, in petrochemicals, margins for paraxylene producers from CFR Japan naptha hit a near two-year early this month. Market participants expect the bull run to continue for another two weeks, until the September futures contract expires. The bull run has also seen producers like Sinopec Jinling shelve plans for maintenance at the end of the third quarter, to capitalize on the profitable spread to naphtha.

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