PS market hit 6-month-low in Europe and 7-month-low in Asia
In China, the downward trend began following the end of the Chinese New Year holidays with import PS prices posting a cumulative decrease of around $420/ton since then, according to data from ChemOrbis Price Index. Lower offers have followed the losses in feedstock markets, where spot styrene prices slumped by around $500-505/ton in the same timeframe. Meanwhile, China’s import PS market has recently hit the lowest not seen since early November.
Coming to Europe, under the downward pressure from Asia as well as the increasing stock levels, spot styrene prices on FOB NWE basis dived by about $560/ton since mid-February. Following the lower feedstock costs, the local PS market has posted a total drop of around €505/ton on average since early March, despite shortly-lived rebounds seen in this period. The current local GPPS offers are indicating the lowest levels since late November.
However, players are now questioning if the PS markets in both regions are nearing the bottom after successive decreases in large amounts. They are relying on hopes that spot styrene prices have recently regained some lost ground in Europe and Asia, albeit in small amounts, following the latest gains in global crude oil markets. Therefore, they are keeping a close eye on the upstream markets to see if this recent rebound will be short-lived or sustainable.
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