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ABS prices surge both in Asia and Europe on heels of styrene

  • 05/09/2017 (04:20)
Styrene prices have been globally soaring on the back of supply concerns, which have exacerbated recently particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the US. This has pushed ABS prices to new highs both in Asia and Europe.

In Asia, producers have been applying large increases on their offers for the past few weeks. According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, import ABS prices have gained by more than $100/ton on average in Southeast Asia since early August while China have posted a larger cumulative increase of more than $150/ton in the same timeframe.

Along with the recent gains, both import markets in Asia are now very close to the highest levels recorded in early 2017, based on ChemOrbis Price Index.

In China’s local market, ABS prices are now standing at more than 5-year high as cumulative increases registered in August are more than $150/ton on average.

However, ABS players across Asia are nervous about these styrene-driven-hikes. “The recent ABS hikes have created a panic mood among traders. However, converters are not willing to accept the recent hikes, believing that the market increased too rapidly,” a few sellers in China commented.

Similar hikes have shown up recently in the European ABS market for September. Ineos Styrolution and Trinseo announced increases of €125/ton and €140/ton on their ABS offers right after the settlement of monthly styrene contracts with €190/ton increases.

The hike targets voiced for ABS across Europe exceeded the previous week’s expectations as they stood below €100/ton. Not only costs, but also limited supplies are also likely to give sellers an upper hand in achieving their hike targets.

After spot ABS prices emerge with similar size of increases in Europe, the market is expected to move above the €2000/ton threshold on average, which has not been seen since the downturn kicked off in the region in May, this year.
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