Europe styrene prices edge down in well supplied market

12 April 2013 11:06  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene pricing saw some erosion towards the end of the week, sources said on Friday, with the market amply supplied amid a raft of arriving US imports and softer than predicted demand so far in April.

Spot values for the current month opened the week above $1,600/tonne (€1,216/tonne), although buyers later came down to $1,590/tonne while sellers were initially as high as $1,635/tonne, supported by some upward movement on benzene.

Deals for April delivery were done at $1,605/tonne and $1,608/tonne early in the week, roughly at the midpoint of the wide range seen, which some felt was an indication of the market lacking any clear direction.

“It’s been looking for direction for a few weeks,” said one major consumer. “In reality, the CP [barge contract price] should have been €1,400/tonne and spot valued at $1,560-1,580/tonne.”

Towards the end of the week, however, styrene values started to ease off as the upward trend on benzene stalled and concerns about oversupply became apparent.

The bid/offer range for both months dropped below $1,600/tonne on Thursday 11 April, which appeared to galvanise buyers. April later traded at $1,570/tonne and $1,575/tonne. May held a slight contango, trading at $1,575-1,595/tonne.

April styrene bids were at $1,565/tonne this morning but sellers were holding back from offers as the upstream benzene market saw some gains amid rumours of possible production problems with two European suppliers.

Bids for April benzene opened unchanged this morning at $1,290/tonne before moving up to $1,310/tonne. There were still no corresponding offers, however, indicating that numbers for the current month could climb further.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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