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 2019
Supply was shorter than usual in Asia, outside of China, and deep-sea regions such as Europe owing to some unexpected production disruptions and a closed arbitrage window for exports. At least three major producers were shut from April to May. Supply in China was sufficient, on mostly high production rates at above 80%, leading to some re-export cargoes from April to June loading that balanced out the market slightly.
Demand in northeast Asia was stronger than expected with end users needing to replenish their stocks because of prolonged maintenance and limited downstream operating rate changes for April and May mostly. However, end-user buying tapered slightly in June on run rate cuts amid persistently squeezed downstream production spreads. China’s demand improved only in late second quarter after inventories fell consistently and traders had to cover contractual shorts.
Supply was long in the second quarter, despite the peak turnaround season. Derivative demand was soft and a swathe of imports arrived in Europe to compensate for the potential loss of volume from the outages. Imports increased by almost 56% year on year in April, while exports fell, making the market a net importer. April imports surpassed exports by over 18,660 tonnes, with most material coming from the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Buying requirements were fairly weak in the second quarter because much of the market and its derivatives had built up stock ahead of the peak maintenance period. Oversupply swamped demand as a swathe of imports arrived in April, around 80,000 tonnes in May and a further 40,000 tonnes in June. Global macroeconomic uncertainty and geopolitical concerns, not least the US-China trade war, also reduced consumer confidence.
Supply of US styrene monomer (SM) was ample-to-long, after a major producer completed a turnaround on schedule at the beginning of the quarter. There were no other planned or unplanned outages during the quarter. Some producers reduced operating rates late in June because of a shortage of feedstock benzene, but the arrival of anticipated imports eased concerns.
Demand for styrene was soft in the second quarter, as derivative demand was below expectations. About two-thirds of styrene demand comes from polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS), both of which saw soft demand, in part because of a delayed start to summer. Demand for US styrene for export surged in the quarter, with year-to-date exports up by 71% through the first four months of the year.
We offer the following regional Styrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Styrene marketplace.
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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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