Asian styrene prices rebound on higher crude

02 February 2010 08:14  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian styrene monomer (SM) prices snapped a week-long losing streak to post gains this week on a rebound in energy futures and increased purchases by end-users before the Lunar New Year holidays, market players said on Tuesday.

Spot SM prices slipped to $1,250/tonne (€900/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China last week before leaping to $1,300/tonne this week, according to data from global market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The rebound in energy futures to the mid-$70s/bbl lifted sentiment among SM players.

Besides crude, buoyant feedstock ethylene numbers above $1,350/tonne CFR northeast (NE) Asia also provided ballast for SM numbers.

“Benzene values are weak but strong ethylene values had underpinned the SM price rise,” said a broker in Singapore.  

The replenishing of stocks among end-users ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in mid-February also gave prices further impetus to rise.

“End-users have realised that prices could not go much lower towards last week,” said a producer in China.

Traders expected buying momentum in China to increase this week and taper off next week as the holidays approached.

Given the upcoming holidays across many parts of Asia, trades in SM were expected to slow and prices to follow movements in energy numbers in general.

“Without any near term catalyst, SM prices would likely track crude numbers,” said a Korean trader.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359



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