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Styrene extends bearish trend in Asia; Europe and US follow suit

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 19/03/2018 (04:15)
Despite a heavy maintenance season in the March-May period, Asia’s styrene market took a downward turn at the end of February right after hitting a one-year high while spot prices have cumulatively lost around $110-115/ton since then, according to weekly average prices on ChemOrbis Price Wizard.

Players mostly attributed the recent downturn of styrene to lower futures and weak demand in China. However, some argued that the spot market may witness a rebound soon, pointing to the scheduled shutdowns which were previously mentioned in detail in ChemOrbis Plastics News Asian styrene market set for turnarounds in H1 of 2018 .

In Europe, the spot styrene market has followed Asia lower for the past two weeks following an increasing trend that was mostly in place for two months. According to the data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot prices have posted a total decrease of almost $100/ton on average since late February when they reached their highest levels in one year. Traders noted that spot prices in Europe defied some shutdowns across the region and recorded further declines last week given plunging prices in Asia.

Meanwhile, in the downstream PS market in Europe, a few players opined that April styrene contracts might settle down by around €70-100/ton given the restarts of some styrene units in the region and thin market activities.

Styrene prices in the US have also been lower for the last two weeks, albeit in smaller amounts. Spot prices reached their one-year high at the end of February while they have seen a cumulative loss of $55/ton since then, according to the weekly average data.
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