01 February 2010 15:27 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--A second European February styrene barge contract was agreed at €1,005/tonne ($1,396/tonne), down €13/tonne from January, a producer and buyer said on Monday.
“The negotiations were difficult this month, because spot moved down so much in the last few days, but nobody knows if this is a long-term trend,” the producer said.
The second contract follows a first agreement reached earlier on Monday at €1,002/tonne, between two new partners in the market.
For the past year, there had only been one set of partners negotiating a barge contract price, and most market participants had been eager for a new pair to step in.
The majority of players canvassed last week said they would welcome the initiative to publicly publish a barge contract between the two new players, but added that they preferred to withhold judgement until the number was out.
Initial responses were largely positive. However, it remained to be seen what effect the new publication would have on long-term styrene contract pricing and discounts.
“We will decide our position in the coming days. It is difficult to comment at the moment,” said a consumer who was not involved in any negotiations.
Most players had expected the decrease, after the upstream benzene contract had settled down €36/tonne at €723/tonne on 29 January, and the ethylene contract had been agreed at €940/tonne, up by €70/tonne. Styrene spot values, however, had come crashing down in the past week by almost $100/tonne, in line with falling benzene numbers.
($1 = €0.72)
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