28 March 2011 18:42 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The European styrene market, currently on a downtrend, could be healthier by the end of April because of improving demand and fewer imports, a producer said on Monday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), the producer agreed that a sizeable downward correction was expected for the April benzene contract, which would be reflected in the styrene barge settlements for next month.
The producer added that poor economics had created an "exceptional environment" for styrene in ?xml:namespace>
Production problems in the upstream benzene market and a lack of imported cargo saw European styrene values climb as high as $1,540/tonne in February, but price ideas moved down over the course of March as a bearish sentiment took hold.
Bids and offers for April material are currently at $1,460-1,465/tonne (€1,037-1,040/tonne) FOB (free on board)
“However, demand for styrene should pick up throughout the month so by May the market could move up again.”
The producer felt that this kind of volatility on styrene was unhealthy for the derivative chain, adding that the market should try and move away from the unpredictability seen in the upstream benzene sector.
While a bearish sentiment has started to pull European styrene prices down towards the end of March, better demand from the construction sector was expected to boost buyer interest.
With fewer imports expected to arrive in the
Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.71)
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