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Thin demand, volatile styrene keep SE Asia PS market under pressure

by Merve Sezgün - msezgun@chemorbis.com
  • 02/08/2019 (03:58)
Southeast Asia’s import PS market has remained on a stable to softer note as the bearish sentiment persists in the face of tepid demand and the continuing volatility in the spot styrene market.

Despite the approaching high season, demand is yet to pick up since buyers are still expecting to see lower price levels, several players concurred.

Discounts obtainable in deals

Asian PS suppliers either kept their offers stable or applied slight decreases this week while a few sellers noted that they were willing to give further discounts of around $20/ton in deals.

A trader based in Indonesia reported that his South Korean supplier rolled over its PS offers from last week, saying, “The supplier’s current offer levels for GPPS and HIPS are subject to discounts. However, buyers are not interested in making any large-scale purchases.”

Limited activity amid expectations of further declines

Buyers operating in the region’s PS markets have been refraining from purchasing beyond their immediate needs for a while, believing that prices still have room for further reductions.

“Buying sentiment is weak. The recent price cuts have failed to boost demand as buyers are sticking to the sidelines in anticipation of additional declines. However, we think that demand should start to improve in August as the high season is approaching,” a Vietnamese seller opined.

Volatile styrene weighs on outlook

Styrene prices in Asia have been following a fluctuating trend since mid February in the midst of divergent factors. This volatility has been keeping the PS outlook blurry, according to players.

Spot prices are slightly lower this week owing to increasing supply levels in China, which have also pushed sellers to lower their prices.
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