May Europe styrene barge CP confirmed down by €11/tonne

02 May 2013 12:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The May European styrene barge contract has been settled at €1,400/tonne ($1,842/tonne), a decrease of €11/tonne from the previous month, sources confirmed on Thursday.

Despite the upward trajectory of benzene this month, many in the styrene market had been poised to resist a similar increase as derivative offtake remains weak.

There was a sense among numerous styrenics players that the monthly barge contract should reflect the market rather than the inflated cost of benzene.

“End-users say producers took much premium pricing in the months prior to the styrene shutdowns and now it is time to hand this margin back,” one source previously explained. “Downstream PS [polystyrene] and UPR [unsaturated polyester resins] are hurting big-time.”

An initial settlement was quickly reached on Thursday morning between one seller and one buyer at €1,400/tonne.

“There was a recognition that the increases in Q1, because of the forecasted turnarounds, needed to be rebalanced,” the buyer said, adding that it initially wanted an agreement at €1,390/tonne but that €1,400/tonne had proved to be a “sentimental barrier”.

One major European supplier did not follow the initial settlement.

“This is not a number I can confirm,” the supplier said.

A second pair of contract settlers later confirmed that they had followed the initial €1,400/tonne number.

The contract price was agreed on a free on board (FOB) Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) basis.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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