LONDON (ICIS)--Players in the European polystyrene (PS) market have settled early April contracts at decreases of €190-220/tonne after the significant drop of the monthly feedstock styrene barge contract, sources said on Thursday.
According to some of them, there were also some bigger decreases heard, mainly in southern Europe and depending on starting point, but they could not be widely confirmed for the time being.
A producer said that the market finds itself in good shape and demand is increasing; therefore, it did not have to offer reductions bigger than €190/tonne.
After months of consecutive increases, the April decrease puts PS in a more sensible price level against competition with polypropylene as the gap between the two has reduced significantly, it added.
Several sources said that buying appetite has improved compared to March because customers were left with low stock and now they need to purchase material.
However, demand could not be described as booming as people buy strictly what is necessary, maybe slightly more, and not to build up inventories, they added.
A source in the southern part of the region said that it had no availability for prompt delivery this month because of healthy demand during March.
Customers are not willing to commit to volumes that will be delivered late May or early June but want to buy with the current reduced price, it added.
Sources in distribution said that demand was on normal levels but order entry for May already looks promising.
On the import side, volumes were still rather limited.
April contract price negotiations are still on going.