European PS, ABS boosted by costs amid low demand
Two major styrenics producers in Europe announced three digit hikes on their PS, ABS prices for the second month in a row after January styrene contracts were confirmed at €1300/ton, up €105/ton from December. Meanwhile, butadiene settlements were agreed up €140/ton from last month when prices were rolled over. Sellers were heard to be passing through the feedstock cost increases on their prices to protect their margins, even though players are gradually coming back to their desks following Christmas and New Year holidays.
A source from a South European producer reported, “We did not reveal official contract offers yet, but we are planning to apply €100/ton hikes on our ABS prices as we receive a good number of orders compared to the same month of last year, which we attribute to the lower Asian imports into the bloc.”
On the other hand, buyers are skeptical whether the full hike targets of producers will pass. A converter in Italy reported receiving initial contract offers for PS with €125/ton increases from a West European producer; however, the buyer plans to purchase limited volumes to avoid paying three digit hikes, citing their end demand is usually slow during this period while they also expect a price relief in February-March due to the Chinese New Year.
A buyer in France added, “We believe that some ABS suppliers might concede to lower prices after negotiations in case they feel stock pressure.”
Some converters had already done pre-buying in late December and they are not expected to source in large amounts in January, some players reminded.
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