Initial US Sept styrene contracts rise on benzene, higher demand

04 October 2010 17:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--An initial US September styrene monomer (SM) contract settlement was heard at 2-3 cents/lb higher than the previous month, sources said on Monday.

A producer said it had settled its September contracts at 58-61 cents/lb ($1,279-1,345/tonne, €921-968/tonne), up from 56-58 cents/lb for August contracts, amid higher feedstock benzene costs and a resurgence in demand.

US SM prices are generally settled at the beginning of the month and applied retroactively to the previous month.

Other SM buyers and sellers said that the contract market was not completely settled yet, but added that a 2-3 cents/lb increase was the most likely outcome.

Contract prices for SM feedstock benzene prices increased 2% to $3.075/gal, while feedstock ethylene contract prices settled flat from the previous month.

At the same time, US SM sales have grown amid rising demand in the US downstream market and more export opportunities to Asia. SM prices in Asia have reached as high as $1,230/tonne on increased demand from China’s styrenics makers.  

Major US styrene producers include Americas Styrenics, BP, INEOS Nova, Lyondell Equistar, SABIC, Total, Valero and Westlake. Major buyers include Helm, Shell and Sunoco. 

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Ben Lefebvre
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