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Initial reactions from Asian players to China’s ADD measure on styrene imports

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 14/02/2018 (04:48)
Having concluded an investigation which started in June 2017, China officially started to impose anti-dumping duties on styrene imports from South Korea, Taiwan and the US as of February 13, 2018, according to a statement on China’s Ministry of Commerce’s website.

The duties to be applied on cargoes from South Korea, which is China’s major styrene supplier, are around 7.8% - 8.4% while Taiwanese cargoes will have an anti-dumping of 5%. Cargoes from the US, meanwhile, will be subject to a relatively higher duty of around 9.2-10.7%.

Although the decision was released only a few days to the start of the Chinese New Year holiday, it has already found reflection on the Asian styrene market, with spot prices increasing around $15-20/ton on a daily basis on February 13 after witnessing losses for the past two weeks in line with the downward correction on oil futures.

Apart from the immediate numeric impact, Asian players operating in both upstream and downstream markets have also evaluated the possible impacts of this latest implementation for the near term.

A Chinese ABS trader noted, “Our Taiwanese supplier kept its offers stable this week amidst the holiday lull. However, we think that ABS offers from Taiwan may record some increases due to the anti-dumping duties in the near term.”

A Malaysian trader opined, “PS offers we received from our Taiwanese supplier increased visibly by $40/ton from last week given tight supplies. Although the current price level is too high, we are still confused about whether to buy or not before the holidays as China’s anti-dumping implementation on styrene imports may push the producer’s offers higher after a while.”

On the other hand, a source from a Chinese PS and ABS producer commented, “We think that the newly imposed anti-dumping duties on styrene will have a limited impact on the market as this was an expected implementation. Prices have already been influenced from this issue and moved higher since the investigation was initially announced last year.”

A source from a Malaysian PS producer also opined, “We are uncertain about the impact of the anti-dumping duties on styrene imports to China from three countries as China still mostly relies on styrene imports over 4 million tons/year in order to feed its local demand.”
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