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PS, ABS sellers seek March increases in Europe

  • 04/03/2016 (02:46)
Fresh PS and ABS prices started to be unveiled in Europe with three digit increases month over month after prices hit the bottom in February. The main trigger behind sellers’ hike requests was higher March styrene contracts since they shrugged off the lower benzene settlement and posted a larger than expected increase of €100/ton on Monday.

Players in the region closed their February business with decreases of up to €50/ton for PS while initial March offers of West European producers surfaced with €100-120/ton increases. Even before styrene contracts, a Central European producer applied €60/ton hikes for late February, a packaging converter reported.

A West European PS producer, who had voiced their expectations for €70-80/ton hikes regarding March PS prices prior to styrene monomer settlements, issued €120/ton increases to Italy this week. A producer source pointed to expectations that supply is likely to remain tight particularly for GPPS.

“We announced increases of €100/ton for the new month in line with monomer hikes after closing our February deals with €35-40/ton drops. GPPS availability is short while demand performs well these days,” a source from a South European producer stated. Additionally, the seller aims to obtain €60-70/ton increases for ABS, another downstream product of styrene.

A distributor argued, meanwhile, demand from the spot market may not be vivid in the first half of March as buyers may not digest three digit hikes. “We plan to apply hikes of around €100/ton in line with the pricing policies of our producers. However, PP prices seem stable to firm in Europe which could create competitive pressure on PS,” he highlighted.

“We expect to close our March deals with €100/ton hikes in line with the monomer increase, supported by actual demand and supply dynamics. Demand in the packaging sector is increasing due to seasonal reasons,” a buyer in Italy said. Another converter reported that they did not negotiate on the three digit hikes they received since they built some inventories during February to be covered for March.
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