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Asian PS sees sharp hikes buoyed by higher styrene costs

  • 11/03/2016 (02:53)
PS producers from Asia issued new price hikes this week buoyed by higher spot styrene costs compared to the beginning of March. Players in China, Southeast Asia and Turkey report sharply higher prices. Apart from supportive costs they attribute the recent increases to restricted supplies.

Spot styrene prices on a FOB Korea basis saw an increase of $60/ton since the month of March started although prices inched down a bit by late this week. The increase amount was larger at around $175/ton when compared to early February. Crude oil prices rose by almost $4/bbl on the NYMEX since early March, while ICE Brent crude futures spiked more than $4/bbl.

A Southeast Asian PS producer applied three digit increases from last week. Accordingly, the seller’s most recent GPPS prices indicate $140/ton hikes while HIPS offers soared by $130/ton. An agent of a Taiwanese supplier also reported, “Our supplier lifted their PS prices by $90/ton this week after their increase of $50/ton last week. Demand is relatively calm this week as most customers already secured their needs.” The producer also issued $100/ton price hikes for ABS.

“We have sufficient inventories until April. We expect the firming trend to remain in place until after May considering that most turnarounds will be conducted throughout the March-April period,” a converter in Malaysia opined. According to ChemOrbis Price Index, import PS prices in the Southeast Asian region rose to the highest levels since mid-August 2015.

A regional PS producer said, “We had to raise our prices as any lower price will mean a loss for us while we have very low stock levels nowadays. We are offering April delivery cargos already. We expect the market to follow a stable to firmer path in the coming term.”

Meanwhile, a source from a Chinese PS producer commented that players in China are not really stocking up high levels of inventories at the moment despite higher prices. “Prices are likely to remain bullish over the short term. On the other hand, the May-June period is usually the low season and prices may cool off at that time.” China’s PS market has seen the highest levels since October 2015, ChemOrbis Price Index data reveals.

Traders in Turkey also reported steep hike attempts from their suppliers with import PS offers hitting fresh highs unseen since mid-September 2015. A trader commented that he expects to hear substantial price hikes from India, saying, “We heard there are visible PS price increases from China and the Indian subcontinent. Plus, spot styrene soared since early February. Thus, we expect similar price increases in Turkey soon considering limited availability from India as well.” The trader voiced his sell ideas with $75/ton increases for Indian PS cargos.

South Korean and Malaysian PS offers also indicate increases in Turkey this week. Taiwanese GPPS prices rose by $80-110/ton on the week, while Malaysian HIPS prices rose by $50/ton in the period.
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