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Styrene drives PS, ABS higher in China

  • 24/08/2016 (03:30)
Last week’s gains for styrene helped several Asian producers take a firmer stance on their PS and ABS offers to China. They revised their offers upwards, although they mostly acknowledged that these hikes lack support from fundamental demand.

According to ChemOrbis Price Index, import prices rose by around $20/ton for GPPS and $10/ton for HIPS on average while ABS prices posted a relatively larger increase of $30/ton on average. These weekly gains followed a downturn that lasted five weeks for both products.

A Taiwanese producer said, “Considering the styrene increase, we adjusted our PS offers up. Demand remains stable, in the meantime, with players sourcing on a needs-only basis.” A company source also reported that Formosa’s styrene unit will be shut in September, which may continue to support the market, although they may also build stocks to be prepared for the shutdown.

A second Taiwanese producer raised its PS and ABS offers to China and justified it by pointing to higher styrene costs. “But we have to admit that these increases are not due to better demand. The market response is not great so far, although we expect to see a stable to firm trend persist in the near term given the upstream support.”

A Korean producer who raised its offers by $20/ton last week and kept them stable for this week commented, “There are several styrene shutdowns in August and September and therefore, the ABS market may continue to be supported. However, traders and converters are cautious about building stocks as ABS prices reached a critical threshold in China. Done deals are fewer.”
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