EU styrene follows benzene with fall of over $100/tonne

15 July 2005 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--European styrene prices dropped by over $105/tonne over the past week, following benzene prices downwards. Despite higher demand from the polystyrene sector, bids and offers finished the week at $975-995/tonne free on board (FOB) Rotterdam for August.

A major European producer commented that styrene operating rates were still reduced due to hot weather. For this reason, Dow was in the market to buy material this week, the producer said.

Benzene prices have fallen around $100/tonne over the last week, led by softening gasoline prices in the US, which brought benzene prices down in the region.

By Friday, benzene prices in Europe were reported at $800-825/tonne cost insurance and freight (CIF) Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp (ARA) for July, August and September. The only deal reported on Friday was $820/tonne CIF ARA for September.

On derivatives, demand has shown signs of recovery. Polystyrene is strong. BASF has confirmed that overall operating rates, which had been as low as 30% are now at 100%.

Other producers are also running at high rates and prices of polystyrene are rising, sources said. Innovene has production problems at its high impact polystyrene (HIPS) unit in Wingles, France. The company is allocating product to its customers.

By: Philippa Davies
+44 208 652 3214

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