Petrochemicals: China styrene prices rebound

20 February 2012 00:00  [Source: ICB]

SBR table

Styrene monomer (SM) prices in China rebounded the week ending February 10 because of buoyant energy futures. A modest pickup in downstream styrenics demand also added impetus.

Spot prices in China for March cargoes rose to a range of $1,430-1,455/tonne (€1,082-1,101/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China, up from prices in the low $1,400s/tonne the previous week.

Domestic prices in east China also rose to yuan (CNY) 10,200-10,400/tonne ($1,620-1,651/tonne) ex-tank from around CNY 10,100/tonne a week before.

Market sources had been expecting prices to maintain a downward trend weighed under high inventories along the east Chinese shore tanks and lackluster downstream demand.

Tank inventories in east China were estimated at 149,000 tonnes, a slight drawdown from 151,000 tonnes in early February. Inventories were just above 100,000 tonnes before the Lunar New Year in January. "While there is some recovery in demand in the styrenic resins sector, the pickup has been more modest than expected," said a resins trader in Hong Kong.

Chinese operating rates have remained mostly unchanged at an average of 70% for polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plants after the Lunar New Year holidays.

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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