Spot styrene’s gap between Asia and Europe widens
The sentiment in the Asian spot styrene market has turned soft in the recent days after following a firming trend for at least two months, which is seen as a correction after the rapid hikes while sources added that high inventory levels in China also weigh on the market. However, spot styrene prices on FOB Korea basis are still $320-325/ton higher from the beginning of the year despite the recent declines.
On the other hand, the European market is still on a stronger note, maintaining its stance since the beginning of October, according to ChemOrbis Price Wizard. In the region, spot styrene prices are currently hovering at around $1655/ton on FOB ARA, up around $100/ton from a week earlier. Players commented that styrene supplies are quite short globally and any updates from the suppliers’ side regarding their plants are immediately affecting the markets.
In Europe, market sources reported that Synthos’ Kralupy 170,000 tons/year styrene unit in the Czech Republic started to have production problems last week while Trinseo is planning to shut its Terneuzen plant as of mid-February for around a month.
In Asia, meanwhile, the approaching maintenance season that will begin in March and last until June as well as the production outages in the US are expected to keep the sentiment firm over the medium term.
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