02 August 2013 12:26 [Source: ICIS news]
By Veena Pathare
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for polystyrene (PS) in the Middle East have increased by $10-60/tonne (€8-46/tonne) this week because of continued strength in the prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM), market sources said on Friday.
PS producers are quoting higher prices even though demand in markets across the region has remained weak, they said.
A major producer in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region is offering general purpose PS (GPPS) cargoes loading in August to the GCC markets at $2,060-2,080/tonne DEL (delivered) GCC, up from $2,050/tonne DEL GCC for July lots, market sources said.
For high impact (HIPS) grade cargoes shipping in August, the producer is offering $2,230/tonne DEL GCC, compared with July offers at $2,150/tonne DEL GCC, they said.
The producer may have limited volumes available for exports, prompting it to raise its offers, market sources said.
Meanwhile, HIPS cargoes originating in the GCC are being offered at as high as $2,280/tonne DEL GCC, according to some regional traders, but this could not be confirmed.
In the East Mediterranean (East Med) market of Jordan, GPPS cargoes were heard offered at $2,090-2,100/tonne DEL Jordan, while HIPS lots were offered at $2,200-2,240/tonne DEL Jordan for August shipment.
These August offers were $20-60/tonne up from the producers’ prices for July shipments.
While discussions for August loading cargoes are largely expected to gain momentum only after 8-9 August, when the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ends, regional traders and some converters are finding the price quotes high against Asian offers.
GPPS offers from Taiwan, India, and Singapore were largely in the range of $1,950-2,000/tonne CFR GCC.
Deals were heard concluded for Pakistan-origin cargoes at prices as low as $1,920-1,950/tonne CFR GCC amid weak demand in the region.
HIPS offers from Asia were at $2,020-2,060/tonne CFR GCC, with deals heard concluded at the same prices.
Demand in the GCC region has been largely weak for close to a month, because of Ramadan. Furthermore, the continued firmness in SM prices since early this year also dampened the pre-Ramadan PS purchasing activity.
PS demand, especially from the food packaging sector traditionally peaks ahead of Ramadan in preparation for increased demand for packaging containers. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with a feast.
Demand in the Middle East region is largely expected to pick up after 9-10 August, market sources said.
($1 = €0.76)
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