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European PS on brink of a softer trend after 2 months

by Manolya Tufan - mtufan@chemorbis.com
  • 25/02/2020 (16:26)
In Europe, February PS deals were closed with increases of €50/ton in most cases, marking the second month of hikes. Sellers trimmed initial hike requests in a bid to accelerate sales, market sources affirmed.

However, PS players expect prices to trend lower in March as styrene monomer is awaited to settle with decreases due to the lower upstream costs and spot styrene prices. Spot styrene prices on FOB NWE basis indicate a drop of more than 5% since early February, according to ChemOrbis Price Wizard.

This expectation has curbed demand further amid ample supply levels both on the sellers’ and converters’ side. A buyer opined, “We expect to see €50-60/ton drops in March styrene contracts.”

Meanwhile, butadiene contracts for March settled down by €20/ton at €720/ton FD NWE.

The lack of clarity about the implementation of the tax on plastic packaging hinders investments and converters in the packaging sector remain hesitant to buy beyond their immediate needs.

Nevertheless, some players also reported that sellers’ margin recovery targets may keep the awaited drops in check.

In Italy, spot GPPS and HIPS ext. prices were last reported respectively at €1150-1250/ton and €1250-1350/ton FD, 60 days. In Northwest Europe, spot prices for GPPS and HIPS ext. stood at €1210-1320/ton and €1310-1420/ton, respectively.
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