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European players at odds about Aug PS outlook, styrene awaited

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 26/07/2017 (13:54)
In Europe, PS sellers obtained monthly gains of around €35-45/ton in July due to a combination of higher styrene settlements, tight supplies and strong demand. Nevertheless, sellers in the distribution channel had to concede to some discounts as activity cooled off as the month wore on.

The August outlook is still unclear as all eyes are now on August styrene settlements. Some buyers are sticking to the sidelines as they expect rollovers to slight decreases, attributing their expectations to the slow demand and softening styrene prices on increasing supply levels. On the other hand, others are not excluding the possibility of some hike attempts due to the producers’ availability tightness.

A distributor in France reported applying €25/ton hikes on HIPS and €35/ton on GPPS for July as their West European supplier’s availability is tighter for GPPS. He added, “We expect rollovers to €20-30/ton increases on PS as tighter supply might lend some support to the market. A Saudi supplier is not allocating GPPS to Europe for now, moreover.”

The fact that August will be a slow month pushed some buyers to engage in import cargoes with longer due times or postpone their purchases to September. A converter in Italy said, “We purchased some material to be delivered in September from the import market with €20/ton increases at a competitive level of €1260/ton CIF, 60 days. As our end demand usually slows down in August, it’s better to keep our stocks low.”

As for September, two compounders in Germany confirmed bullish expectations as buyers are believed to come back to the market to replenish stocks at that time.

The outcome of the next styrene contracts will determine to what extent supply issues will strengthen sellers’ hand in August. Although spot styrene prices have been volatile during the month, they lost around $150/ton since early July.

In Italy, spot PS prices were last reported at €1350-1400/ton for GPPS and at €1390-1500/ton for HIPS. In Northwest Europe, prices were reported at €1350-1450/ton for GPPS and €1450-1550/ton for HIPS, all FD, 60/90 days.
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