Styrene falls in Asia, shrugging off 6-month high crude
Spot styrene prices shed $55/ton on an FOB Korea basis and registered a larger drop with respect to the previous weeks. Lower spot styrene prices were attributed to a significant amount of incoming export styrene cargoes directed from the US to South Korea and China back in March.
The decreases in styrene costs in the region came despite the firming energy markets. Crude oil futures on the NYMEX climbed to a 6 month high during intraday trading on May 16 and touched above the $47/barrel threshold after Goldman Sachs Group said the market moved into a deficit earlier than expected due to improved demand and supply disruptions in Nigeria.
Coupled with muted demand, weaker styrene costs exerted downward pressure on downstream products in Asia. Spot PS prices in China hit the lowest levels seen since late February, according to weekly average prices on ChemOrbis Price Wizard. As a result, other major polymer markets also witnessed lower Asian PS and ABS prices.
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