Europe spot styrene prices holding steady amid weak demand

13 November 2013 12:34  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European styrene prices have seen some upward movement this week, sources said on Wednesday, with continued pressure on prompt supply counteracting seasonally lower demand.

“The market seems a little firmer given the last few weeks, but we may see a dip as we head towards the end of the year,” said one trader. “Other regions are also holding, which helps. As long as we don't see industry selling, we should see these levels maintain.”

After trading as low as $1,575/tonne (€1,166/tonne) on a FOB (free on board) basis towards the end of last week, offers have gradually edged back up above the $1,600/tonne mark since 11 November.

There was a deal done on 12 November at $1,602.50/tonne, although there remains some resistance from buyers, as the overall downstream picture remains on the bearish side for the rest of 2013.

By midweek, November spot values were at $1,575-1,610/tonne, with offers holding steady  in line with higher benzene pricing and steady-to-firm numbers in the Asian market. Meanwhile, December was backwardated at $1,565-1,585/tonne.

“Consumers don’t have stock,” one supplier said. “We saw this earlier, when one or two thousand tonne purchases really made the difference on price ideas.”

The supplier also felt that any traditional year-end destocking in December would be less pronounced this year, as many downstream players have carefully managed inventory throughout 2013.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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