October 2023 Sees Dynamic Shifts in Pet Coke Markets: US and Europe Prices Drop, China Soars
October 2023 Sees Dynamic Shifts in Pet Coke Markets: US and Europe Prices Drop, China Soars

October 2023 Sees Dynamic Shifts in Pet Coke Markets: US and Europe Prices Drop, China Soars

  • 27-Oct-2023 2:08 PM
  • Journalist: Kim Chul Son

Throughout the third week of October 2023, the Pet Coke markets in the United States, Europe, and China experienced significant shifts in prices and demand, reflecting a complex interplay of regional and global factors.

In the US market, the price of Pet Coke saw a notable decrease of around 4%. This decline was primarily attributed to weakened demand from the downstream construction industry, a sector grappling with a persistent labor shortage. The shortage of construction workers has been a critical issue in the United States, significantly hindering ongoing construction projects. The president of the association representing the provincial construction sector highlighted several contributing factors to the labor shortage, including high living costs, low housing affordability, and the appeal of better job opportunities in other sectors. Despite the reduced demand, the supply of Pet Coke remained high, further exacerbating the bearish trend in the US market. As a result, the price of Pet Coke hovered at around USD 646 per metric ton, underlining the complex relationship between economic factors, labor market conditions, and commodity prices within the construction industry.

In contrast, the Chinese market witnessed a significant increase of approximately 4% in the price of Pet Coke. This surge was largely influenced by fluctuations in the international crude oil market, a vital feedstock for Pet Coke. These fluctuations were driven by geopolitical turmoil, which raised concerns about the supply of crude oil. Additionally, positive economic data from the United States heightened expectations of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, contributing to a negative market sentiment. While geopolitical conflicts, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, initially added to concerns, they have not directly impacted the crude oil supply, providing some relief. Nevertheless, mainland China's volatile situation and the influx of supplies due to imported petroleum coke, coupled with improved weather conditions and the return to normal construction progress, resulted in a bullish trend in the Chinese market. The increased volatility in the region may amplify fluctuations in oil prices, leading to higher price amplitudes of Pet Coke.

In the European market, a more modest decline of approximately 0.5% was observed in the price of Pet Coke. This dip was primarily linked to a broader international trend of decreasing prices. Furthermore, the European market faced setbacks with no new orders being placed, which hampered domestic demand for Pet Coke. The region's freight rates also experienced a notable drop, influenced by geopolitical and economic instability, dampening container traffic demand, and saw steel volumes decline. The European industrial sector had to contend with high energy costs, rising raw material expenses, and labor costs while facing subdued global demand. These factors collectively placed significant pressure on the competitiveness of the European industrial sector.

In summary, the Pet Coke markets in the US, Europe, and China each faced distinct challenges and opportunities in the third week of October 2023, showcasing the intricate relationship between local and global economic factors and their impact on Pet Coke prices. These market dynamics emphasize the need for adaptability and resilience within these industries as they navigate the complexities of supply and demand.

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