Styrene rebound fails to support Asian styrenics prices

29 March 2012 09:36  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--The rebound in styrene monomer (SM) prices in Asia this week could not bolster styrenic resins values that have been under pressure on weak demand, plastic producers and traders said on Thursday.

SM prices reversed its losing streak and rebounded to the high $1,400s/tonne (€1,050) CFR (cost & freight) China after declining to around $1,460/tonne CFR China last week.

Meanwhile demand for resins like polystyrene (PS) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) remains lacklustre and prices remain under downward pressure.

PS prices hovered in the low $1,600s/tonne CFR China while ABS prices slipped below $2,150/tonne CFR NE Asia.

“Plastic prices are still under pressure this week although feedstock SM prices are starting to increase,” said a trader in Hong Kong.

Resins suppliers concede that it remains difficult to hike prices in the near term as demand has not improved.

”SM prices have stabilised but resin buyers are not coming out to seek parcels,” said an ABS producer.

Demand for resins typically improves in April as Chinese factories start to ramp up production of finished goods.

However, buying momentum showed limited signs of a pick up so far although orders for end products have started to trickle in.

Resin buyers are mostly adopting a cautious stance given the continued weakness in prices. Most buyers prefer to wait and see if the current SM price uptrend is sustainable before making commitments.

“Most resin buyers still have some stocks on hand and will prefer to wait for some price stabilisation before making purchases,” said another trader in Hong Kong.

PS is used in packaging, toys, utensils and consumer electronics. ABS is used in the toys, office equipment, consumer electronics, automotive and construction sector.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359



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