On this week's Platts Market Movers Asia with Research Analyst Crystal Hao: market participants assess impact of Hurricane Ida's damage on grain (00:19) and petrochemical (00:39) facilities, and how it might affect supply to the region.
More highlights in Asia's commodity markets:
*Saudi crude still expensive for Asian refiners despite recent cut in official selling prices (01:27)
*China's trade data in focus, with particular interest in iron ore amid the country's steel production curbs (02:31)
*Eyes on potential changes in Japan's leadership due to possible impact on energy policy (03:01)
37th Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC 2021) | September 27-29, 2021
APPEC 2021 is Platts Asia's first hybrid event, featuring more than 100 speakers from over 20 countries, with a single platform for global delegates and exclusive sessions with top decision makers. Tune in as we shape and map the future of energy as an APPEC community.View agenda
This week: Asian refiners fret on tight Saudi imports, outlook bullish on recycled polyethylene, and China releases August trade data.
But first, markets are waiting to hear about the damage caused by Hurricane Ida on commodity and energy facilities in the US Gulf Coast.
Grains market participants are waiting to hear about the damage to US export terminals. The US Department of Agriculture may publish new estimates for crops, including corn and soybeans, on Friday. The day before, Brazil will release information on its corn crop. This will attract the interest of Asian buyers.
Turning to petrochemicals, polymer markets in Asia are also keeping a close eye on developments after the hurricane. More than 40% of poly vinyl capacity was closed as producers declared force majeure. They are still waiting for power to be restored. The US is a key polymer exporter, and there are now concerns of tighter polymer supply in global markets.
Meanwhile, the outlook for Asian recycled polyethylene remains bullish due to global arbitrage opportunities. But there is still a problem exporting because of a shortage of containers and lack of vessel space. Many converters are looking to export finished recycled products to Europe, which is leading the way in implementing new mandates to use recycled materials.
In oil, Asian importers will be looking for sweet crudes offered by non-Middle Eastern suppliers. This is because import costs for Saudi barrels are generally higher. This trend is expected to continue this year unless OPEC+ boosts the scale and pace of its production hike. OPEC and its allies plan to keep increasing output until the end of 2022. But Asian refiners and trading firms want supply raised by at least 700,000 barrels a day. They believe oil prices are too high and Saudi crude official selling prices rather expensive in tight supply conditions.
This leads us to our social media question of the week: Will OPEC+ raise production again in 2021? Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag PlattsMM.
We'll delve deeper into the factors impacting the oil markets at the upcoming Platts Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference from September 27 to 29. Read the agenda and register by visiting the address displayed on your screen.
In metals, markets participants will be looking closely at China's August trade data, with particular focus on iron ore. China's expected to have registered lower iron ore imports last month versus July. China has been cutting steel production, in large part because downstream demand has been weaker than expected. According to one index, Chinese manufacturing contracted in August. This is a worry because the sector supports demand for a range of metals.
Finally, Japan's government leadership changes are being closely watched by energy markets due to the potential impact on energy policy. The country has ambitious decarbonization plans that are expected to lead to its energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
Thanks for kicking off your Monday with us. Have a great week ahead!