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Rally persists for Asian PS in global markets

  • 15/12/2017 (04:03)
Asian PS suppliers have adopted a bullish pricing policy since early November as higher upstream costs combined with better demand prior to the Chinese New Year have been supporting their quest for hikes. This week, regional producers consequently applied further hikes of $30-60/ton for GPPS and HIPS in global markets including China, Southeast Asia, Turkey and Europe.

A Thai producer raised its GPPS and HIPS prices by $30/ton to China and SEA, citing relatively active demand in the region. “We expect to conclude deals at our latest prices,” said a producer source. Another Thai source reported, “We received much lower bids from some customers but rejected them. Rumor has it that a regional producer might have delayed the restart of its PS plant for a few weeks, meanwhile.”

A Taiwanese PS maker issued larger increases of $40-50/ton for GPPS and $40-60/ton for HIPS. A producer source reported that they are open for only small discounts as styrene costs remain quite high despite the recent hiccups in the firming that has been mostly in place since late November. “We feel free from sales pressure as we have sold out 60-80% of our stocks already. Demand in China has been better than other markets due to the preparations for the New Year,” he stated. Similarly, export GPPS offers from Vietnam to the regional markets spiked $60/ton on the week.

According to the weekly average data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot styrene costs on FOB Korea basis have stood at their highest levels since September amidst the rally that remained in place since late October. ChemOrbis Price Index also suggests a cumulative increase of around $130/ton for import PS markets both in China and Southeast Asia on average since the upturn kicked off at the end of October.

In Turkey, soaring upstream costs and reduced allocations to the country have also triggered a rise in import offers for the last one month. Indian offers surged by $50/ton for December, while Korean prices posted remarkable hikes of $130/ton for GPPS and $100/ton for HIPS. The cumulative increases in import PS prices have reached $120/ton on average since mid-November, according to ChemOrbis Price Index.

“We are not able to replace any stocks as prices increased a lot, which forced us to raise our offers for our remaining materials at our stocks,” traders noted. Scarce deals for imports are implying possible supply concerns for the medium term, players concurred.

Similarly, in Europe, import PS offers from Asia have constantly risen in the past one month. A German compounder reported this week, “Our South Korean supplier issued $60-100/ton increases compared to November. Demand is better in Asia compared to Europe as we are about to suspend our manufacturing soon given Christmas holidays. Expectations widely call for renewed increases for January in the PS market across Europe.”
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