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Asian styrene hits 7 month-high despite weakening crude markets

  • 08/11/2016 (09:53)
According to weekly average prices on ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot styrene prices in Asia hit the highest level since early April, following a stronger trend since around early October. The bullish sentiment in the styrene market was driven by planned and unplanned shutdowns in the region, resulting in a divergent path from lower crude oil prices which have recently declined below the $45/barrel threshold again.

The prevailing spot styrene prices in Asia are now reported at around $1080-1085/ton FOB Korea basis, up approximately $110/ton from the beginning of October. Looking at crude markets, however, NYMEX December crude was down 59 cents to settle at $44.07/barrel on November 4 while ICE January Brent crude futures slid 77 cents to settle at $45.58/barrel.



Looking at the production outages in the region, market sources reported that South Korea’s SK Global is planning to shut its 450,000 tons/year propylene oxide/styrene plant at Ulsan on November 9 for a scheduled maintenance. The plant is expected to remain offline for around a month. In addition, China’s Ningbo Keyuan will halt production at its plant on November 15 for about 15 days due to mechanical problems. Meanwhile, another Chinese producer Changzhou Donghao Chemical has reduced operating rates at its 200,000 tons/year styrene plant because of an ethylene feedstock disruption which is expected to last around 10-15 days.
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