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Surging energy prices find reflection on Asia’s PS and PET markets

  • 13/11/2017 (04:09)
The bullish run of crude oil futures, which kicked off in early October, gained prominence across global PS and PET markets last week since feedstock costs of these polymers mostly followed the recent upturn of the energy complex, particularly in Asia.

WTI crude oil futures for December on NYMEX have been hovering around $56-57 /barrel since November 9, the highest levels since the summer of 2015 while ICE Brent crude oil futures have also hit similar highs, trading around $63-64/barrel. Spot naphtha prices in Asia followed suit and climbed by $25-30/ton on the week.

This has found reflection on spot styrene prices in Asia as they rebounded from their lowest levels since mid-August.

In China and Southeast Asia, the import PS markets responded to this upturn, rising for the first time since September last week as most sellers took a firmer stance on their offers, citing higher upstream costs.



Although the sustainability of the recent firming was questioned due to unpromising demand, particularly in Southeast Asia, most PS sellers increased their offers to the regional markets, saying, “The firming can be retained so long as energy markets and styrene prices remain firm.”

In line with the oil-driven increases in spot MEG and PTA prices in Asia, China’s PET market renewed its firming last week and Southeast Asia followed suit.

A source from a local producer in China noted, “We lifted our export PET offers by $20/ton on the back of the upturn of crude oil futures as well as rising monomer costs. Demand remains okay while we are not feeling any sales pressure since we oversold our allocation in the previous months.”

According to ChemOrbis Price Index data, export PET prices from China hit their highest level since late February on a weekly average basis.