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 Q1 2020
Supply remained limited in northeast Asia on production cuts since end-2019, with at least three producers not running full within the region. Likewise in southeast Asia, at least two producers were running at reduced rates since January. However, ready availability from the Middle East neutralised the impact.
Chinese buying was limited throughout because of poor downstream performance, with most EPS units shut during the Lunar New Year holiday and with the countrywide lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak. A lack of tank space limited buying as well. Northeast Asian demand recorded a growth spurt in late Q1 on Lotte’s unexpected shutdown in South Korea.
European styrene lengthened significantly in the first quarter. The market started the year long, and the outlook was for more length with the start up of new onstream styrene in China; an estimated additional 2m tonnes/year started up in Q1. February also saw the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on supply and supply chains as derivative demand and production slowed and in some cases closed. Fewer imports from the US were outweighed by India port closures which is a major outlet.
European styrene demand was already fragile at the start of the quarter, but lockdowns in numerous countries, as well as the halting of automotive production saw reduced consumption levels versus Q1 2019 in derivatives such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-butadiene-rubber (SBR). Polystyrene (PS) demand has been more resilient but products exposed to the automotive sector were weaker. Players have opted to purchase minimum of contract to reduce risk.
Supply of US styrene was slightly tighter in the first quarter after US producer AmSty conducted a planned turnaround at its 953,000 tonne/year plant in Saint James, Louisiana, and producer INEOS Styrolution began a planned turnaround at its 455,000 tonne/year plant in Texas City, Texas, around mid-March. The Styrolution turnaround was expected to last until April but given the demand destruction associated with the coronavirus outbreak, it remains unclear if the company will restart the plant on schedule.
Demand for styrene in the first quarter was soft, weighed by persistently weak derivative demand. Demand was weighed in the latter part of the quarter by demand destruction associated with the coronavirus outbreak, which has slashed demand globally for oil and oil products. Most North American auto production was halted in March because of the pandemic, which further weighed on demand. A significant percentage of styrene derivatives, including acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), is used in the production of autos.
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
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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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
Use margin reports to assess the profitability of commodities
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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