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Asian styrene responds to tanker accident at Yangtze River, China

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 11/07/2017 (12:48)
Spot styrene prices in Asia have been tracking a mostly stable trend since late May, hovering around the range of $1090-1120/ton FOB South Korea on a weekly average basis. Spot prices witnessed a daily increase of around $30/ton on July 10 following a tanker accident that occurred at the Changzhou Huarun Petrochemical Terminal in Changzhou, the Yangtze River.

According to local media reports, a cargo ship hit a chemical tanker on July 9, triggering a fire onboard the vessel. The accident also damaged the chemical pipes containing ethylene, benzene and propylene. The fire was reportedly put out on July 10 while all operations at the terminal were suspended.

A trader operating in Taiwan commented about the impact of the accident on China’s styrene market, saying, “Although the accident is not likely to have a major impact on styrene supplies in East China, this kind of news leads to speculations that might trigger increases in prices.”

A Chinese PS producer applied slight increases on its offers in line with higher styrene prices, opining, “Styrene supplies have reduced given a decrease in the import activity. The news regarding the accident in Changzhou also played a role in the recent styrene gains.”

An ABS producer based in South Korea also increased its offers for July shipment to Vietnam by $20/ton to $1800/ton CIF, cash. A source from the producer noted, “We think that the tanker accident will only have a short-term impact on styrene prices.”
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