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Insight | Time:Feb 5 2018 2:44PM
CPL market trend forecast in February and March
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CPL market held steady in Jan, and market participants had different ideas towards market trend in Feb previously. There were a series of influencing factors, such as replenishment before Spring Festival, accidental plant turnaround, transportation problem affected by snow, high CPL settlement and Luxi’s low prices.

But as Spring Festival comes near, market trend becomes clear. For fundamentals, CPL output is expected to be around 248kt in Jan, and imports may be less, so total CPL supply is predicted to be about 260kt, lower than demand. As to CPL plants, Nanjing Fibrant’s units shut down and Hengyi’s units reduced production affected by transportation problem of liquid ammonia. Besides, Yangquan’s units would reduce production moderately during Spring Festival, and Luxi’s new CPL unit is not running stably due to quality problem. There is no other turnaround plan in Feb. CPL inventory may inch up after Spring Festival in Feb, but it would still be low at around 40kt. Inventory may rise further to around 60kt in end-Mar as supply rises evidently, but it is also at a low level.

Therefore, it is not likely for CPL market to fall after Spring Festival. But the market may be affected by production of Luxi’s new CPL line. If sales are poor, Luxi would lower prices, which would influence CPL market.

Besides, commodity market has fluctuated for several months, and if commodity market keeps fluctuating, CPL market may remain firm. Once commodity market drops after Spring Festival, coupled with declining crude oil prices and weak demand, CPL market would be under pressure.

For benzene market, benzene future market in Mar and Apr rises evidently as several benzene plants in South Korea plan to shut down for maintenance, but port inventory in East China is still high, which would prevent spot prices from rising.

For CPL contract prices, output in Feb is expected to lift from that in Jan as Hengyi and Baling Petrochemical have no turnaround plan. On the other hand, demand for CPL would be lower in Feb due to Spring Festival, so it is unlikely for CPL settlement to increase further.

As a whole, according to the planned operation rates of nylon 6 chip and textile filament plants during Spring Festival, CPL market would still be stable supported by demand in Feb. But CPL supply would increase in Mar, and coupled with uncertain benzene and commodity market trend, participants are suggested to hold cautious attitudes in Mar.
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