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 Q2 2020
Supply rose in most parts of northeast Asia as plants in Japan restarted from turnarounds and South Korean manufacturers were running at higher rates, on better margins in comparison with Q1. Only Taiwan saw a drop in production because of maintenance. Western supply levels were higher on the opened arbitrage window and rising run rates after Q1 maintenance plans.
Import demand from China and northeast Asia were both healthy owing to healthy importer margins for most of Q2, and wider downstream production margins especially in the ABS and PS sectors respectively.
Europe styrene was oversupplied during the second quarter. Supply was in abundance as demand was sharply reduced as lockdown measures were enforced across the region to control the spread of the coronavirus. A near halt in end-use automotive and tyre manufacturing and consumption destroyed demand for derivative ABS and SBR. Low PO demand resulted in reduced SM/PO output, but supply was still long because of low demand.
Europe styrene demand fell sharply in the second quarter, as manufacturing along the supply chain, and end-use consumption were drastically impacted by enforced lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The key end-use automotive sector was particularly affected, destroying demand for styrene derivatives such as ABS and SBR. PS and EPS demand was also slow, but packaging and single-use plastic demand picked up slightly.
Supply was tighter in Q2 as US producer AmSty had some equipment issues while restarting its 953,000 tonne/year plant in Saint James, Louisiana, after planned maintenance. Producer INEOS Styrolution began a turnaround in mid-March at its 455,000 tonne/year plant in Texas City, Texas. The company has yet to restart the plant, likely because of demand destruction associated with the pandemic. The tight supply had minimal effect on the market because demand was soft.
Overall demand was soft in Q2 as much of the country shut down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The North American auto industry shut down in March after an employee at a plant in Michigan contracted the virus. There were some pockets of improved demand related to the pandemic, including for some styrene derivatives such as including ABS for use in ventilators and PS as bans on single-use plastics were eased.
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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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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