10 May 2013 17:49 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--April styrene contract prices settled down by 2.25 cents/lb ($50/tonne, €39/tonne) on average at 77.25-81.25 cents/lb, following the decline in the feedstock benzene market, trade participants said on Friday.
The April decline was in line with market expectations and initial settlements, coming on a lack of price increase initiatives from producers.
The declines were also supported by weak demand in the styrene market.
Looking ahead to May, only one major producer has come out with a price increase of 2 cents/lb, following the rebound in the May feedstock benzene contract.
A second producer was also heard to have come out with a 2 cent/lb price increase for May, pending further confirmation.
However, most market participants have said May will likely rollover or come down.
One styrene consumer said it might be difficult to pass through May price increases, as suppliers are currently seeing healthy margins even alongside weak demand.
A supplier has also said it has settled some early front-month May contracts at a rollover.
May styrene contracts are expected to be fully settled in early June.
Major North American styrene producers include Americas Styrenics, Styrolution, LyondellBasell, Total and Shell Canada.
($1 = €0.77)
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