31 December 2013 14:10 [Source: ICIS news]
European styrene prices saw significant gains towards the end of December, with the market galvanised by talk of possible production and supply chain issues and the potential impact on domestic availability.
Several players in the styrene market noted that higher benzene numbers and inventory restocking would help support at least a modest increase in January styrene, although there were still no firm indications.
The benzene January contract price has been confirmed at a €37/tonne ($51/tonne) increase.
With a €20/tonne increase in the January propylene contract price already agreed, it is likely that ACN prices will also move up next year.
A SAN producer is waiting for the January styrene contract price to be agreed before it sets its January SAN price targets.
“We always wait until SM CP is settled up to define our prices,” the producer said.
A second buyer said this week that it had not yet received any price offers from its suppliers, but expected any increases to be limited.
Traditionally, January sees demand improve from December levels because buyers restock after the Christmas holiday period, though demand in the European SAN market is not expected to show any significant improvement compared to January 2013 levels.
However, the December SAN price settlement was at a rollover to increase of €10/tonne, which is significant because December demand is generally lower due to the shorter working month.
Despite one SAN producer targeting a €30/tonne increase in December prices at the beginning of the month, SAN buyers did not rush to build up stock levels ahead of possible further increases in January because current inventory levels is expected to meet any increase in January demand.
($1 = €0.72)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections