Asian and Turkish PS markets move up on costs

21-May-13
Players in China’s and Turkey’s PS markets report higher import prices although many continue to highlight that overall buying interest remains disappointing, as per ChemOrbis. These increases mainly find support from higher upstream costs. Spot styrene prices in Asia are reported US$45/ton higher when compared to the beginning of May while they are stable on a week over week basis. Benzene costs, meanwhile, are US$10/ton lower on a week over week basis but they are stable with respect to the early May levels. In China, import PS prices gained US$10/ton increases at the low end of the overall price range and remained stable at the high end over this past week. Inside the country, local prices moved up by CNY100-200/ton (US$16-33/ton) as producers attempted to recover their weak margins amidst stronger local styrene costs. However, they report seeing resistance from buyers towards their new higher offer levels although they feel confident that converters will eventually need to replenish their stocks. Local styrene inventories were limited inside China, prompting higher prices. However, towards the end of this past week, slight improvements were reported on local styrene supplies. A distributor in Shanghai reported, “We lifted our GPPS and HIPS prices this past week based on higher costs although demand remains stagnant. However, we believe converters hold low stock levels and they might have to replenish their stocks in order to maintain their current operating rates.” A producer remarked, “We issued hikes on our GPPS and HIPS prices owing to higher feedstock costs. However, concluding deals has become harder following our increases given buyers’ resistance. We think that thin demand might put a cap on the price hikes over the near term.” According to ChemOrbis, in Turkey, a similar panorama was observed as PS prices moved up, supported by costs, though demand remains limited. Following a 10 week decline in import prices, Turkish players saw higher import prices during this past week, especially at the high end of the ranges. However, distributors are cautious to accept these higher offer levels as they point to the still weak demand on the converters’ side. Firmer Asian PS markets, driven by the upstream costs, limited supplies and poor demand in Turkey, draw a stable to firm outlook over the near term.
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