For the Quarter Ending September 2021
The market outlook showcased an upward trajectory in Q3 2021 across the North American region. The prices of Naphthalene witnessed an upwards rally on a steady rise in the prices of downstream Phthalic Anhydride throughout the third quarter. Demand from the downstream derivative manufacturers and the construction industry remained strong throughout Q3. Supply side issues persisted during the latter part of Q3 as hurricane Ida landfall disrupted the supply of upstream coal tar to several refineries on the US gulf coast.
The prices of Naphthalene rose effectively in the Asia Pacific region during the 3rd quarter of 2021. In the Indian market, prices continued to trace an upward trajectory buoyed by the soaring freight rates and delayed deliveries from major exporting countries. Ex-Works prices of Naphthalene escalated from USD 1075/MT to USD 1182/MT in Q3 021. In terms of demand, it remained nearly stable in Q3, but limited imports of the product widened the demand and supply gap in the Indian market. CFR Taiwan prices for Naphthalene observed a surge from USD 0.85 to USD 1.05 per kg in the September month.
In the third quarter of 2021, the demand for downstream Phthalic anhydride remained high from the downstream plasticizers and alkyd paints industries which reduced its ability to the export markets such as Europe. Another critical factor that limited the regional supply was resolutely high cost of shipping and unavailability of Asian containers. Demand for the downstream products that go into the housing sector showed a rise in Q3 2021, for insulation and other construction-related uses. It is anticipated that Naphthalene demand will remain bullish in Q3 with anticipated strength from all sectors in the upcoming quarter.
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
The North American Naphthalene market maintained stability during the second quarter of 2021, as the industrial output picked up after the winter storm Uri disrupted market dynamics. The resumption of several industrial facilities in the USA bolstered the market supplies and hence the pricing trend eased after observing a constant up stride from the downstream Phthalic Anhydride producers. Overall, Naphthalene prices witnessed a slump by USD 90 per tonne FOB Louisiana within the quarter to settle at USD 1205 per tonne in June. Demand outlook remained significantly competitive but improved supply conditions and loose in the shipping freight charges balanced the overall domestic market outlook.
In the Asia Pacific region, Naphthalene supplies were balanced to meet the end use demand. The Indian market outlook remained subdued under the impact of second COVID wave in the first half of the quarter, however the market activities picked up during the latter half. India imported a total of 5818 tonnes of Refined Naphthalene, at a decline of 21.17% from imports in the previous quarter. China Steel Chemical Corporation turnout to be the major supplier of Naphthalene in the Indian domestic market. The demand remained balanced from the downstream derivative industries. However, some Indian buyers were reluctant to procure large shipments amidst the ongoing uncertainties in the regional market. Naphthalene pricing trend in India observed a stagnant growth with Ex-Works Mumbai prices trading at USD 1337 per tonne in April.
Naphthalene supply outlook in the European region improved compared to the previous quarter, as shipments from the US surged due to improved industrial activities in the US Gulf coast. Shipments from Asia producers were delayed due to Suez Canal blockage at the start of the second quarter. Demand was bolstered from the downstream PVC manufacturing facilities as region witnessed strong PVC demand from the building and construction sector. As a ripple effect, Naphthalene prices in the European region surged amidst the strong buying sentiments.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
During the first quarter, Naphthalene supplies remained tight in the North American region, owing to limited availability of feedstock, as the major petrochemicals units such as that of INEOS, Lanxess, Dow Chemicals, etc., were shut down amid the unprecedented severe freeze weather conditions in the US Gulf region. The demand however, surged from the downstream sectors as the people took a conservative approach regarding the spread of COVID 19. the supply-demand gap widened which supported the regional prices of Naphthalene. Naphthalene FOB Louisiana (US) prices were averaged around USD 1140/ton, showing marked gains over Q4 levels.
Naphthalene supplies in China were tight, leading to reduced overseas shipments as several plants were on turnaround amid the Chinese Lunar New year holidays and offtakes were reportedly lesser. Although the situation balanced out after Taiwan and South Korea increased the shipments of Naphthalene in overseas market in expectation for better netbacks in between supply shortage. In the first quarter the Naphthalene prices in India took an uptrend with quarterly average standing around USD 1127/ton on Ex-Depot basis due to the reduced imports and constant offtakes from the downstream construction sector.
Naphthalene supplies in the European region remained tight, as the winter season hit the region and several plants in the northwest Europe reduced their production efficiencies due to limited commercial and industrial activities amid the COVID restrictions across Europe. In February, imports from the USA witnessed a steep fall credited to severe freeze conditions in major industrial sites. However, due to the surged demand as the offtakes were improved from construction sector. Consistent demand prompted the producers to raise their prices multiple times within Q1.
For the Quarter Ending December 2020
Naphthalene supplies remained healthy in the Asian region, due to the sturdy demand on the back of active buying momentum for the hygienic products due to rising uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 spread. Imports from Europe were majorly affected by the spread of new strain of COVID and fresh lockdown imposed on several European countries. The demand of Naphthalene in India remained firm throughout the quarter due to active restocking by downstream consumers. Surge in crude oil enabled the Indian producers to maintain an average price of USD 1028.15/ton, with margins strengthening by over USD 40/ton in December 2020.
Product supplies remained firm in the European region, due to strong consumer shift towards hygienic standards due to pandemic which led to bullish buying activity. European Naphthalene exports were severely impacted amid the second lockdown imposed due to the new strain of COIVD-19 followed by the production cuts on the upstream front. Abrupt surge in transportation freights and loss of manpower resulted in snug supply which surged the prices to new highs during the fourth quarter.
Naphthalene market reflected mixed results during the fourth quarter. The aftermath of seasonal hurricanes in the US gulf region forced various upstream suppliers to shut down the production with many refineries impending cuts in run rates due to the disruptions in power supply. The demand showed continuous inclination supported by the momentum in buying activity and rebound of the construction sector. The steep increment in the prices was majorly driven by the lack of transporting facility in the sea.