PS, ABS demand improving on lower May offers in Europe
PS and ABS producers issued decreases of up to €200/ton and €150/ton, respectively in their initial offers whereas May styrene contracts were agreed with a decrease of €245/ton from April. In addition, new butadiene contracts had been settled with a decrease of down €225/ton from the previous month.
A source from a West European producer said that PS and ABS demand has started to improve this month as buyers postponed their purchases in April in anticipation of seeing new decreases in May. The source also added that supply and demand dynamics are rather balanced.
A container manufacturer in Belgium commented that they are planning to build some stocks in anticipation of the start of the high season in June. He thinks that PS demand will improve in May in line with the higher production in the packaging and disposable sectors. The fact that May has more working days than in April is the other reason for the expected improvement in market activities this month, he argued.
Another manufacturer in Italy said that they will make some purchases as they find the new May offers attractive.
Players also pointed to the import cargoes in limited amounts, arguing that they still fail to offer a competitive edge. A trader in Italy opined that new South Korean ABS offers are not competitive now as they stand mostly in line with local material prices, although they were also issued with significant decreases of up to €150-200/ton from a month earlier. This helps keep the buying interest restricted to the local market, according to traders.
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