Commodities

Petrochemical plunge

After summer highs, prices dive

TOKYO -- Asian markets have seen prices of basic petrochemicals plunge since summer as supplies rebound and downstream demand softens. Spot prices of ethylene have fallen 20% since summer to between $1,200 and $1,240 per ton. Prices for benzene ha...

  • Slippery commodity

    Crude oil prices may face protracted slump

    TOKYO -- International crude oil prices have continued to tumble since this past summer, with U.S. crude oil futures declining to half the record high of $147 a barrel set in 2008. Lower oil prices will lead to improvements in corporate earnings ...

  • Metals on the move

    Soft yen pushing up gold, platinum, copper prices

    TOKYO -- The prices of precious and nonferrous metals traded in Japan are rising as the yen declines. The yen-denominated gold price has shot to an eight-month high, while copper has climbed to a peak not seen in well over three years. The standa...

  • Crashing crude

    Fuel oil prices on downward spiral

    TOKYO -- Fuel oil prices continue to plummet because of cheap crude oil prices, as well as decreased demand from customers trying to slash costs and opting for cheaper alternatives. The spot rate for A-grade fuel oil, which is used in fishing boa...

  • Japanese commodity prices

    Weaker yen sparking demand for domestic wheat

    TOKYO -- Demand is growing in Japan for domestically grown wheat, which is used mainly to make udon noodles. Some restaurant chains and bakeries are switching to domestic wheat as the weaker yen pushes up prices for imported grain. The National R...

  • Aluminum price gap growing between Japan, China

    TOKYO -- The gap between Japanese and Chinese procurement prices for aluminum is widening on a growing oversupply in China. Aluminum futures prices on the Shanghai market, which are the Chinese benchmark, stand at around 13,700 yuan ($2,235) a to...

  • Cooking oil costs likely to climb as soybean, canola prices rise

    TOKYO -- International prices for soybeans and canola are rising and could influence domestic price negotiations for cooking oils. Soybean prices reached $10.80 a bushel Wednesday in extra-hours trading in Chicago -- the highest in two months. Th...

  • Iron ore contrarian eyes $3.5 billion Australian project

    BANGKOK -- These are dark days for the iron ore business. With prices at five-year lows as the Chinese economy slows and supplies soar, small miners are beginning to crumple and major players are digging faster to push competition out of the market. ...

  • Oil prices still sliding as global economy slows

    TOKYO -- Dubai crude oil prices -- the benchmark for Asian markets -- continue to decline due to growing concerns about a sluggish world economy coupled with weak oil demand in China. On Tuesday, the price slid $1.80 from the previous day to $78....

  • Some commodity prices undercut break-even points

    TOKYO -- Plunging prices for crude, metals and other commodities are discouraging producers to the degree that some resource development projects could be in jeopardy. Futures contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude are trading at about $80 a...

  • Asian PVC prices falling on weak Indian demand

    TOKYO -- International prices of polyvinyl chloride, used in such products as water pipes, continue to drop as demand rebounds slowly in India, Asia's biggest importer. The Asian spot price recently came to around $970 a ton, 3-4% cheaper than a ...

  • Even amid weak yen, cheaper crude keeps fuel prices down in Japan

    TOKYO -- Crude oil continues to fall in price, helping to curb fuel cost increases in Japan resulting from the depreciation of the yen. Dubai crude, the benchmark for Asian markets, dropped to the range of $81 per barrel Tuesday -- its lowest lev...

  • Gold sinks to 4-year low as dollar rises

    TOKYO -- The price of gold declined to the lowest in four years and three months following the dollar's surge on the Bank of Japan's decision last week to expand monetary easing. The dollar's ascent spurred investors to pull money out of gold, wh...

  • Benchmark US crude drops below $80 for first time in 28 months

    NEW YORK -- The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil for December delivery on Monday sank below $80 a barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time in roughly two years and four months. The exact closing price for the benchm...

  • Australian coal hit hard by Chinese tariffs

    TOKYO -- The market for thermal coal, used for power generation, keeps cooling as major consumer China reverts to protectionism, dealing a blow to Australian producers. The benchmark spot price for Australian thermal coal stands at a five-year lo...

  • Saudi Aramco lowers LPG prices 17-22%

    TOKYO -- Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company has cut the contract price for November shipments of liquefied petroleum gas to Asia by 17-22% from the previous month. Saudi Aramco's decision was influenced by the recent plunge in crude oil prices,...

  • New gold exchanges out to set benchmark price for Asia

    TOKYO -- Asia accounts for 60% of global gold demand, but it has little influence over prices because the benchmarks are set in London and New York. New exchanges in China and Singapore are hoping to change that.Slow startIt has been one month since ...

  • Japan rapeseed meal prices swayed by Chinese policy

    TOKYO -- Sharp declines in Japanese rapeseed meal prices have been pinned on supply trends in North America and fluctuations in the value of soybean meal. Another factor has come to the fore: a Chinese clampdown on U.S. corn, which has shaken up the ...

  • Japan's lead smelters smarting as vital auto batteries end up in South Korea

    TOKYO -- A crisis has befallen Japanese lead smelters. They are struggling to procure their mainstay material, as used auto batteries -- a key source -- are being shipped from Japan to South Korea in ever increasing quantities. South Korea-bound ...

  • Petrochemical prices drop in Asia as crude keeps falling

    TOKYO -- Plunging crude oil is dragging down the prices of chemical feedstock in Asia and weighing on the prices of synthetic resins and fabric materials as well. The spot price of naphtha, a commodity made from the distillation of crude, has fal...