US June styrene contract outlook unclear on mixed fundamentals

28 June 2013 19:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--With initial June styrene contracts expected to emerge next week, trade participants said on Friday that they were unsure of how the market may play out.

Producers did not come out with any price increases for the June styrene contract, after the feedstock June benzene contract declined by 5 cents/gal ($15/tonne).

However, with the strain on styrene inventory in the US and globally, trade sources have said the styrene market is now decoupled with the feedstock benzene market.

The styrene market typically follows price direction from the feedstock benzene market. The largest outlet for benzene is ethylbenzene, of which nearly all is consumed in the production of styrene.

US benzene spot prices this week have dropped to yearly lows, mostly on the back of ample supply.

But, the US styrene market is said to be sold out until late July. The styrene market has been globally tight in the second quarter because of recent turnarounds in the US and overseas.

Current May styrene spot prices are at 77.25-81.25 cents/lb ($1,703-1,791/tonne, €1,311-1,379/tonne), which settled at a rollover on average.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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