HOUSTON (ICIS)--US November styrene contracts settled at an average decrease of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) from the previous month on the back of lower feedstock benzene prices and weakness in Asia.
ICIS November styrene contract prices are 58.50-63.50 cents/lb, down from 62.50-67.50 cents/lb in October.
Poor Asian demand – largely Chinese – has led to a lack of imports from key regions like Europe over the last few months. That, in turn, led to reduced European buying interest for US styrene. US supply serves as a back fill for Europe due to increased exports to China.
Since 7 September, ICIS styrene spot prices in northeast Asia have dropped by 31%. Similarly, ICIS styrene spot prices in Rotterdam have fallen by 27% since 5 October.
ICIS styrene spot prices rebounded slightly this week, but have fallen by 28% since the end of September.
December benzene contracts recently settled at a decrease of 69 cents/gal from November.
North American styrene producers include AmSty, INEOS Styrolution, LyondellBasell Chemical, Pemex, Shell Chemicals Canada, Total Petrochemicals and Westlake Styrene.