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Asian PS remains weak despite recent stabilization in styrene

  • 20/10/2017 (03:50)
Asian PS prices continued to post additional losses in global markets albeit in more modest amounts over this week. Muted demand continued to dominate the market heading to the year-end despite the recent stabilization in spot styrene costs across the region. The regional PS markets have been on a bearish trend since mid-September following a sharp upturn, according to ChemOrbis Price Index.

A source from a Taiwanese PS producer admitted that PS prices continued to retreat both in China and Southeast Asia since demand was still poor. “Prices may go down further considering a lack of healthy activity. Nevertheless, we don’t foresee dramatic falls considering that demand may recover due to the nearing season for home appliances,” he highlighted.

A trader in China reported receiving $20/ton lower GPPS and HIPS offers from a Taiwanese producer. “The producer is still offering their October cargos as they have smooth allocations for PS,” the trader mentioned. Another Taiwanese PS maker issued $30/ton drops on PS compared to last week to speed up their sales, according to traders.

In Southeast Asia, players in Indonesia reported quite slow market conditions recently, which exerted sales pressure on PS suppliers. A source from a regional PS producer noted, “Manufacturers are operating below average rates nowadays, which also keeps their purchases bare to the minimum.”

A trader in Malaysia commented that supply was quite sufficient in the market. “Thereby, expectations among buyers call for further PS decreases in the days to come with many of them running their factories at reduced rates,” he remarked.

A bag manufacturer in Vietnam confirmed that he did not purchase any material during the last few weeks. “We are preserving our waiting stance as we still think the prevailing price levels are high and we expect to see some more decreases of around $50/ton at the end of October,” the buyer said.

A few players, on the other hand, opined that the bottom might be nearing for PS looking at the recently stabilizing styrene costs in Asia. Traders argued, “If styrene sustains its stability with support from some turnarounds, the PS market will eventually respond it.”