Spot styrene prices in Europe find mild support from upcoming turnarounds
Two styrene plants in the Netherlands readying for shutdowns
Ellba, a JV between Shell and BASF, is set to shut its propylene oxide and styrene monomer plant (POSM) in Moerdijk, the Netherlands in September due to a planned maintenance. The unit, which has a production capacity of 550,000 mt/year, is expected to remain offline for seven weeks.
LyondellBasell and Covestro’s jointly owned Maasvlakte propylene POSM unit in the Netherlands will also be shut in September given a two-month long scheduled turnaround.
The unit has a production capacity of 680,000 mt/year, accounting for nearly 15% of styrene production in West Europe.
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Firming trend in European spot market resumed after two weeks
The firming trend in the market, which perpetuated the market throughout July, has resumed recently with support from the impacts of the aforementioned shutdowns. According to the weekly average data obtained from ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot prices have gained $15/ton this week.
Volatile crude oil still casts a shadow on market outlook
The volatility in crude oil futures has continued amid trade threats, weaker global economic outlook and concerns over energy demand.
This factor may limit the amount of any possible further gains in spot styrene prices over the near term, some players argue.
Asian spot styrene market remains a factor to watch
Having fluctuated within a narrow range since early February, the Asian spot styrene market has recently headed north on the back of tightening supplies, ChemOrbis data also show.
European players are keeping a close eye on this factor as well since the recent upturn in Asia may lend support to the European market so long as it continues.
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