Europe March PS initially settles down by €45/tonne

14 March 2014 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Initial European March polystyrene (PS) contract prices have fallen by €45/tonne, reflecting a pickup in demand that partially offset a €57/tonne drop in styrene monomer feedstock costs in the month, sources said on Friday.

Nevertheless, prices may come down further later in the month. One producer said it has settled prices with small and medium buyers, on average, at a reduction of €45/tonne. Furthermore, it noted that several large buyers are still yet to settle their prices, so greater reductions could occur.

"With respect to pricing, the settlements we have made with small and medium accounts are -€45/tonne. But of course, the big ones are still to come. I cannot exclude that next week there may be a bigger decrease. We are very reluctant and not settling below [reductions of] -€45/tonne," a producer said.

Another seller confirmed this sentiment, adding that it expects the bulk of business to be settled towards the end of the month and reductions could grow to -€50/tonne.

Several buy-side sources said that they have not yet settled their March contracts but indicated that they will be seeking reductions more in line with the styrene monomer reduction.

A couple of buyers said they settled March contracts at reductions close to €57/tonne, but these were not confirmed on the sell side.

One said: "I can say our prices came down around €57/tonne. Demand is the same as according to our budget."

Another buyer, focused on packaging, said it has settled at a reduction of €40/tonne for March, but noted that it settled at a rollover in February.

Sellers described demand as strong, citing buyers' expectations of lower prices in March. One said offtake is already significantly ahead of February.

Buyers, on the other hand, generally described offtake as flat.

By: Iain Packham

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