Asia PS sellers cut offers by $50/tonne on weak demand, poor SM

13 June 2012 06:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian polystyrene (PS) suppliers have cut their offers by as much as $50/tonne (€40/tonne) as regional demand slumps amid heightened concerns over the eurozone debt crisis, market sources said on Wednesday.

Major sellers in Taiwan and Korea PS resins were offering $1,400-1,450/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China, but buying impetus remains limited with buying ideas below $1,400/tonne CFR China, they said.

Current offers were down by about 12% from the peak spot PS price in mid-March at around $1,620/tonne CFR China, ICIS data showed.

“Buying momentum of PS has really slackened in June as buyers are increasingly hesitant to commit,” said a trader in Hong Kong.

Lesser orders for finished goods received by Chinese factories resulted in slower offtakes for resins, including PS. Market participants blamed the ongoing crisis in Europe and weak economic conditions in the US for the lacklustre performance of the Chinese exports sector this year.

“The Chinese manufacturing season in the third quarter is just around the corner, but demand for PS remains low,” said a Taiwanese producer.

Because of weak demand, the average PS operating rate in China has been hovering at 60-65% over the past two months. Producers are expected to continue keeping low rates to prevent stocks from building up too quickly.

The slowing Chinese economy added a further drag to PS demand, with trades in the domestic market slowing down as well.

“PS business in China is slower this year as the domestic economy is losing steam,” said a Korean resins distributor.

Overall, market players expect the manufacturing season this year to be weaker than last year, given the uncertain global economy and a slower Chinese market.

PS resins are used in packaging, toys, consumer electronics and other consumer items.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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