18 September 2012 07:52 [Source: ICIS news]
By Clive Ong
On 17 September, SM prices were assessed at the year’s high of around $1,600/tonne (€1,216/tonne) CFR (cost & freight)
Domestic prices in eastern
At shore tanks along east China last week, SM inventory has whittled down to around 53,000 tonnes – about a third of the peak volume recorded in February at 151,000 tonnes, industry sources said.
“The local supply remains tight as SM units are struggling to raise output due to benzene shortage,” said a trader in
Run rates at SM plants in
“Some traders have redirected [SM] cargoes to Europe in recent weeks as prices over there are much higher than Asia,” said a trader in
In Europe, SM prices were at $1,750-1,820/tonne FOB (free on board)
Recent measures announced by the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve to address their respective economic troubles, provided further impetus for SM prices to increase.
But some market players said that SM gains in the region may be soon fizzle out given weak fundamentals
“SM prices have rocketed higher but downstream styrenic resins are still performing poorly,” said a Taiwanese resins producer.
The third quarter manufacturing season in China remains weak with consumption of resins lower than previous years.
Weak economic conditions in the US and eurozone have curbed demand for Asian made goods.
($1 = €0.76)
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