05 March 2012 09:23 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia styrene monomer (SM) prices rose to a seven-month high above $1,500/tonne (€1,140) as market players anticipate a tightening of supply amid a number of turnarounds at regional facilities in the next two months, traders said on Monday.
Spot SM prices were assessed at average of $1,470-1,515/tonne CFR (cost and freight) ?xml:namespace>
Prices last breached the $1,500/tonne CFR China levels in late July 2011, ICIS data showed.
“Supply in the region is likely to remain tight in the near term,” said a Singapore-based trader.
Asahi Kasei Co and Idemistu Kosan in
“On top of the turnarounds, there are limited arbitrage cargoes coming to Asia recently,” said the trader in
Buying interest from downstream styrenic resins sector is expected to strengthen further as Chinese factories usually ramp up production of finished goods from April, market sources said.
SM demand started to improve in first half of February after the Lunar New Year holidays in Asia, with shore tank inventories of the monomer along east
“Demand for SM have picked up in February although not as strongly as previously anticipated,” said a trader in
A number of traders remain cautious given the sharp run-up in prices in the past two weeks, with some talking of a potential correction in the near term.
SM prices on a CFR China basis increased $30-60/tonne over the past two weeks, according to ICIS.
“The improvement in the downstream sector has been modest, hence prices could recede,” said a trader in
Others, however, believe that prices have further upside potential as
High energy prices and strong benzene prices at above $1,200/tonne FOB (free on board)
”With costs at these levels, SM margins are still thin and sellers are still trying to reach higher prices," said another Singapore-based trader.
($1 = €0.76)
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