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Asian PS markets look for direction as styrene retreats from 19-month high

  • 20/08/2018 (03:40)
PS sellers approached China and Southeast Asia with different pricing strategies over the past week as spot styrene’s latest downturn prevented some of them from maintaining a firm trend in the midst of already weak demand.

Last week, spot styrene prices on FOB Korea basis retreated from their highest levels since mid-February, according to weekly average data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard. Spot prices, however, closed the week with a slight daily gain of around $5/ton.



In the PS market, some sellers stepped back on their previous hike requests last week, citing the recent week over week declines in spot styrene prices. Others, however, either kept their offers stable or applied some modest hikes, saying, “Despite their recent loss, styrene prices are still high.”

A Taiwanese producer cut its PS prices by $10-20/ton to China and Southeast Asia last week, noting, “Buyers find the current offers to be too high to accept while the weaker currencies against the USD still hamper trading activity. Meanwhile, the recent volatility of styrene has blurred the outlook.”

A few Southeast Asian producers, on the other hand, slightly raised their PS offers to the regional markets. “Several styrene plants in Asia are slated to be shut for maintenance in the August-September period. Hence we maintain our firm stance on our offers for now,” a source from a producer commented.

A trader based in China also noted, “We are now waiting to get a clearer picture of the market direction by monitoring the upstream developments as well as trade tensions between China and the US, which have intensified uncertainty in the market.”
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