Asia styrenics price downtrend halted by SM rebound

28 July 2010 04:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Spot prices of styrenic resins such as polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) in Asia ended their losing streak this week due to a rebound in feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prices, producers and traders said on Wednesday.

Prices of ABS and PS snapped a two-month long decline, providing much relief for producers in the region.

Offers of the resins were increased by some $20-30/tonne (€15-23) to around $1,180/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China for general purpose (GP) PS and around $1,830/tonne CFR China for ABS.

“Prices had finally stabilised this week but demand remains weak”, said a producer in Taiwan.

SM prices staged a sharp rebound last week, rising from around $975/tonne CFR China to $1,060/tonne CFR China this week. Several buyers anticipated that prices had fallen far enough and therefore stepped into the market to pick up parcels.

Resin traders anticipated that plastics price increase would gain traction in a week or two if the SM price uptrend did not fizzle out.

“Typically, if SM prices remain strong for two weeks, then PS and ABS buyers would be willing to pay higher prices for the resins,” said a trader in Hong Kong.    

With the Chinese market entering the traditional peak season in August to September, resins producers were cautiously optimistic that demand would start to improve.

“Although the eurozone crisis and the slowing US economy remains, factories in China would still be producing goods although exports this year would likely fall short of last year,” said another trader in Hong Kong.

Overall the low inventory among end-users in China was expected to be positive for resin demand and pricing going into August, according to several producers in northeast Asia.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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