Europe PS prices edge down on lower styrene in strong market

14 August 2017 12:06 Source:ICIS News

INSET IMAGE: Packing material made from polystyrene. (imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock)LONDON (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) prices in Europe are being agreed at a rollover to small decrease for August in spite of stronger-than-expected demand, sources agreed on Monday.

“We have very strong August demand so far - already beyond the expected plan,” said a producer, also admitting that prices were slipping by €10-15/tonne.

This drop, however, represents some spread improvement for producers, as the August styrene contract fell by €30/tonne.

Not all PS buyers were satisfied with such a meagre drop as sellers were prepared to confirm.

“I am going to be pushing for reductions of €30/tonne plus,” said one large buyer.

Holidays throughout Europe meant that some August settlements will be done only at the end of the month, but August was now seeing a pretty clear movement, in rollover to a little down, said sources, and it was a matter of time to see if sellers would go further.

There was no oversupply, and demand was strong, so much depended on what was happening in upstream markets, and particularly in the notoriously volatile styrene sector.

Styrene spot prices soared on the back of the unplanned Shell outage at Pernis, Netherlands, but have since eased back.

PS pricing follows styrene monomer relatively closely. It is used in packaging and the manufacture of toys, household goods etc.

INSET IMAGE: Packing material made from polystyrene. (imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock)

By Linda Naylor