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May expectations vary in Europe’s PS market amid volatile styrene

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 13/04/2017 (14:29)
European producers started the month of April with €190-220/ton decreases, which were smaller than the styrene decreases of €275/ton. Some sellers conceded to additional discounts of €10-20/ton on top of the initial decreases as demand is not promising amid bearish expectations.

A buyer in Germany confirmed, “We purchased some volumes with €240/ton decreases despite initial discounts of €220/ton from sellers.” Sources highlighted that PS buying interest is limited to the basic needs ahead of the Easter holidays taking place on April 16.

According to weekly average prices on ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot styrene prices fell by around €420/ton when compared to the peak level reached in mid-February. There was a rebound in late March but it happened to be short-lived as they came back down. A distributor opined, “The rebound in spot styrene costs might be only temporary and it is not likely to persist in May.” He attributed it to the gradual return of many crackers in the region by May.

Regarding next month, early expectations are not totally clear due to the volatility of styrene. Several players expect decreases to continue in May, although the size of the expected decreases varies among players.

A buyer from Italy commented, “We are closely watching upstream developments to have a clearer idea regarding May. We heard that PS prices are widely expected to post slight variations depending on fundamentals.”

A German seller, meanwhile, expects a decrease of €100/ton on PS for May. He said, “GPPS posted larger discounts compare to HIPS in a few cases thanks to high butadiene prices.”

So far this week, spot PS prices are reported at €1480-1600 for GPPS and at €1580-1700/ton for HIPS on FD Italy, 60/90 days. In Northwest Europe, GPPS prices stand at €1530-1630/ton and HIPS stands at €1630-1730/ton FD, 60 days.
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