Europe spot styrene numbers firmer into February

10 January 2017 11:52 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Sentiment in the European styrene market has remained bullish so far this week, sources said on Tuesday, with prices in the forward market moving higher due to some anticipated global tightness.

After trading as high as $1,230/tonne FOB (free on board) last week, February bids and offers opened on Monday 9 January at $1,250-1,275/tonne. Deals were later heard at $1,275/tonne and $1,280/tonne, and offers for the forward month went as high as $1,300/tonne.

January bids and offers opened the week at $1,240-1,260/tonne, but are also starting to edge higher as the week unfolds, although no deals have been heard yet.

There was more upward movement in the Asian market today, and January prices in Europe also firmed. January saw bids at $1,260/tonne this morning while offers were at $1,290-1,300/tonne. February remained in contango at $1,290-1,310/tonne.

With several styrene units in the US Gulf scheduled to come offline for planned maintenance turnarounds, European players are expecting to see fewer imports into Europe from across the Atlantic.

By March 2017, there are also some scheduled styrene plant shutdowns in Asia. This may also add further upward pressure on the global market if US export availability remains limited.

“A lot will depend on how demand in Europe shapes up in the first quarter,” said one industry source. “But if Europe needs the material, then we will have to follow prices in Asia.”

(Picture source: RelaxImages/REX/Shutterstock_
By Truong Mellor
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