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PS players voice firm Dec expectations in Europe

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 22/11/2016 (16:40)
Players in Europe are voicing their early expectations for December styrene contracts in the light of stronger spot styrene prices and recovering upstream markets. Spot styrene prices began the week on a bullish note following the trend in Asia, where prices surged on tight supply. Spot styrene prices have reached the $1100/ton threshold on FOB ARA basis despite long availability in the European market. According to market sources, price relief is not expected to come in the following months as turnaround season is around the corner in Asia and the US in the first quarter of next year. Under these circumstances, wide expectations hint at higher prices for the next month.

A plastic end product manufacturer in Italy reported hearing talks of a possible increase of €80/ton on December styrene contracts. Meanwhile, a distributor in Germany claimed that he heard talks of €100/ton increases on the new monomer contracts in line with the surging spot prices.

A sheet extruder in Austria commented, “We initially had steady expectations for December; however, the upward pressure from the styrene market changed our expectations. We also heard that styrene contracts are expected to post an increase of €80/ton in December.”

Apart from that, pre-buying activities ahead of December might come to the forefront as buyers are expected to avoid further increases on derivatives. A manufacturer in Italy is mulling over whether to buy or wait this month. “However, we are likely to decide to purchase some material since the December outlook is bullish considering spot styrene prices,” added the buyer.

A distributor reported, “We expect some increases for December in line with the higher spot styrene prices; yet, December will be a shorter month due to the holidays, which will pave the way for limited market activities.”

A converter, on the other hand, thinks that the December outlook is uncertain amidst strong costs and slow demand. The converter added, “We expect low demand to keep possible hike attempts in check.”

Market talks are mainly centered on increases of up to €100/ton on the new styrene contracts in Europe. Accordingly, most of the players anticipate a bullish market for the near term and a European producer was reported to have informed customers that they are mulling over applying increases of up to €100/ton on their PS prices for December. However, there are some players who do not exclude the possibility of disappointing year-end demand keeping hike attempts in check.
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