02 April 2008 11:53 [Source: ICIS news]
The price refers to general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) deliveries for April and is heavily discounted.
Most March GPPS had been trading in a range of €1,230-1,250/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest
BASF’s move was in line with the current trend in the PS market, and INEOS NOVA and Dow Chemical had already made it clear they would be seeking to roll April prices over from March, in spite of the reduction in April styrene monomer contracts.
The second European styrene contract settlement for April was confirmed on Tuesday at a decrease of €16.67 from the March average, at €1,094/tonne, which was €28/tonne lower than the full March settlement.
The contract was settled on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
A first styrene settlement had been made on Monday afternoon at €1,035/tonne FD NWE, down €53/tonne on the contract partners’ March settlement.
PS producers complained about poor margins, which they said had fallen in 2008 by €50-70/tonne.
Demand for European PS has been weak and competition from dollar-based material on export markets had forced European PS sellers out.
One major European PS buyer had already commented that it would be expecting the drop in April styrene for its PS purchases this month but a major PS producer expressed frustration at this expectation.
“PS margins have completely collapsed in the past month. It is naïve to expect a drop in PS prices in April.”
The supply-demand position was in favour of buyers at present, however, in spite of cutbacks in PS production.
Discussions, as usual, were expected to be protracted.
European PS producers include Dow, Total Petrochemicals, Polimeri Europa and BASF.
($1 = €0.64)
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