ICIS provides extensive coverage of the Styrene market. Weekly reports are published in Asia, China, Europe and the US. ICIS publishes monthly margin reports for Asia, Europe and the US as well as 12-month rolling series reports. The margin reports include short-term and long-term market analysis.
Weekly reports cover contract and spot assessments over the week and at the close of business on Friday. Our locally based expert reporters use market intelligence to give commentary on deals, international trade, production news, supply and demand trends, as well as upstream and downstream developments. The up-to-date source of information is a reliable and vital tool in the decision-making process for your business.
Updated to Q4 2020
Supply was curtailed by ongoing maintenance in northeast Asia and domestic China for the early part of Q4. Some units remained idled until December, due to earlier poor margins, exacerbating the situation. Arbitrage supplies were mostly delayed from December to January arrival because of weather-related constraints and production hiccups in the West.
Demand was mostly strong in the last quarter of 2020, owing to deep-sea arrival delays and continuously low inventories at main east China ports. End-users had also oversold on cargoes earlier and had to replenish stocks, further supporting the strong buying activity. Healthy import margins for Chinese distributors encouraged demand.
There was a lack of spot material due to healthy export demand to Asia and reduced imports from the US because of hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. There was also a delayed restart at a producer undergoing planned maintenance, while another was still in a turnaround.
Firmer crude oil prices and news of a highly effective coronavirus vaccine improved demand in Q4. Demand started the quarter well, on the back of higher prices in Asia as China demand surged following the National Day Golden Week holiday. Domestic demand from the styrenics sector was also stronger compared with much of 2020 in Q4.
Supply was tighter in Q4 due to plant outages, the rising US economy and strong Asian demand, principally from China. An open arbitrage window to Asia attracted numerous exports during October and November. Plant outages at Westlake’s 260,000 tonne/year US Lake Charles, Louisiana, plant, CosMar’s 1.18m tonne/year Carville, Louisiana plant and INEOS Styrolution’s three North American plants with combined capacity of 1.67m tonne/year had a significant impact on production.
Strong Asian demand beginning in early October lifted the styrene market worldwide including the US. Exports to Asia spiked and by early December US styrene was largely sold out for December and January. US spot prices rose to their highest level in a year. By the end of Q4, the arbitrage window to Asia and Europe closed. The rally made up for a weak third quarter that saw demand fall 39% below Q3 2019 levels.
We offer the following regional Styrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Styrene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Styrene
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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Styrene
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Other types of reports we cover for Styrene
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News & analysis
News & Analysis – News & market analysis specifically relating to Styrene
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets. Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
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Styrene is mainly used in the manufacture of homopolymers and copolymers. Its predominant use is in polystyrene (PS)
This document is intended to provide methodology support for customers receiving the ICIS Weekly Margin – Styrene Asia report.
This document is intended to provide methodology support for customers receiving the ICIS Weekly Margin – Styrene Europe report
Ethane (or naphtha) with steam is fed into the cracker unit where ethylene and co-products (propylene, butadiene, benzene, etc.) are made. The ethylene and benzene from the cracker are then further processed (catalytic alkylation) to make ethylbenzene.
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.
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