24 October 1994 00:00 [Source: ICB]
AS TWO further unplanned outages kept styrene supply tight worldwide, the rumoured failure of US producers to achieve their announced 2 cent/lb October hike has astonished the market. One producer is thought to have caved in to pressure from PS players to hold back the increase they felt they could not pass on to customers so late in the year. In spite of at least 10% of US styrene production being out for maintenance over the next quarter, producers now appear to accept that there could be no increase on the 38-40 cent/lb September styrene price. European contract agreement at DM1530/tonne is considerably higher.
In Europe, Hüls has been forced to take one styrene line out for an unscheduled catalyst change, originally planned for next year. One of the three styrene lines will be out for at least two weeks, adding to buyers' nervousness following the Gonfreville force majeure declaration last week. In Europe, spot prices have risen, but only DM10-20/tonne. Several players believe that producers and buyers could be forced into the spot market.
In Japan, Idemitsu suffered a two-week unplanned outage that lost around 10 000 tonne production. The plant is now back onstream.
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