EPCA ’17: Europe styrene supply improves, concerns over logistics

02 October 2017 09:31 Source:ICIS News

River Rhine in Cologne - Source - WestEnd61, REX, Shutterstock

BERLIN (ICIS)--After Hurricane Harvey and the delay of the US imports, supply in the European styrene market is improving and this has already started reflecting in the spot numbers, sources said late on Sunday.

“Still, the market should not be considered super long,” a trader said.

Commenting on the recent weak performance of the Chinese market, another source said that things have changed from last year.

“In 2016, demand for expandable polystyrene [EPS] in China in October and November was very robust but we do not see it this year,” it said.

Meanwhile, the European market seems to be concerned again with the Rhine water levels as they seem to be dropping.

“We keep a close eye, but if the level drops that much then barges will be pilling up and there will be significant disruption in logistics,” a trader said.

The reopening of the northern Harbour in Ludwigshafen-after the accident that occurred nearly a year ago-will probably mean more congestion as Rhine will become a lot busier.

The sources were speaking on the sidelines of the 51st European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) annual meeting, which runs in Berlin from 30 September to 3 October.

Pictured above: River Rhine in Cologne. Petrochemical sources are growing concern about the key transport route's low water levels
Source: WestEnd61/REX/Shutterstock

By Vasiliki Parapouli