Styrene Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Styrene market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and analysis of the Styrene monomer markets is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Styrene monomer or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Styrene market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
Our editor gives their expert view
Styrene Overview Transcript
Styrene is a liquid chemical which is used to manufacture a wide range of products in two basic groups: plastic resins and synthetic rubber. The raw materials for styrene are benzene and ethylene which are produced from naphtha in an integrated plant.
In the plastic group, styrene is made into polystyrene, EPS, ABS, SAN and UPR. These resins then go into consumer electronics, office equipment, toys, and automobiles as well as the packaging construction and infrastructure sectors.
The other group that styrene goes into is synthetic rubber like styrene butadiene rubber, and styrene butadiene latex. These synthetic rubbers are then used to make items like automobile tyres and a host of rubber products.
The main merchant market for styrene is China, which has been growing at a relatively high rate annually. The Asian styrene market is spot driven, with values of most term contracts derived from spot prices.
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Styrene news and market information products from ICIS
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Other types of reports we cover for Styrene
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Styrene: Market overview
After limited Chinese availability and European production outages saw a period of soaring global styrene prices over the summer, there is an expectation that spot values will start to ease into the fourth quarter of 2013.
While bullish upstream and energy costs continue to keep some upward pressure on styrene monomer (SM), weak downstream demand is increasingly weighing down on global sentiment and pricing direction.
Resin demand as well as offtake from key industries such as construction remains slow despite the traditional seasonal lift over summer, which has been compounded by the high cost of SM in the second half of 2013.
Several Asian producers are undergoing maintenance shutdowns throughout August and September, which some feel could keep upward pressure on global pricing, but overall the expectation is that values will edge back down as current pricing is unsustainable given the health of derivative activity.
Similarly, players in Europe are wary of the high spread between naphtha and styrene, which leaves the market exposed to significant losses, should oil and energy numbers see a downturn in pricing.
Updated to mid-August 2013
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Pure styrene is a colourless to yellow, oily liquid that evaporates easily and has a sweet smell. Styrene is highly flammable, forms explosive mixtures in air, is dangerous when exposed to flame, heat or oxidants and on decomposition, emits acrid fumes.
Styrene is mainly used in the manufacture of homopolymers and copolymers. These include polystyrene (PS), expandable polystyrene (EPS), styrene copolymers (such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins, styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) and styrene-butadiene latexes), styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and unsaturated polyester resins.
Styrene is produced predominately by ethylbenzene (EB)-based technology. EB is first made by the catalytic alkylation of benzene with ethylene and then dehydrogenated to styrene. The coproduction of styrene with propylene oxide (PO) by the PO/SM process had been gaining popularity.