European PS offers lose ground in Italy and Turkey

13-Jun-11
The European PS market weakened amid ample supply levels in the region, especially for GPPS, lower upstream costs and slow buying interest due to the poor end product demand, as per ChemOrbis. In the upstream market, June styrene contracts settled with an average decrease of €75/ton (US$109/ton) on FD NWE basis with respect to May while the spot market indicates even greater drops of US $215/ton over the same period on FOB NWE basis. Meanwhile, spot styrene costs are US $30-35/ton lower when compared to the start of June with the same terms. The decreases in the styrene contracts are attributed to the lower settled benzene and ethylene contracts for June in Europe. In Italy’s PS market, prices indicate decreases from late May levels because of the globally slow demand for some PS applications as the high season is fading away. Plus, sellers are suffering from their high stock levels coupled with the lower upstream costs and therefore, they feel forced to lower their prices further in order to speed up their sales. Looking at Italy’s spot PS market, €50-100/ton decrease for GPPS and €30-60/ton decrease for HIPS, have been passed for May on FD Italy basis. However, it should be noted that the HIPS market stand in a relatively stronger position compared to GPPS given the ongoing butadiene issues in the market. Despite the fact that overall butadiene tightness is not as strong as in April and May, since major producers including Sabic and Dow restarted their plants after scheduled turnarounds, the overall supply situation is not expected to improve until July. Meanwhile, a West European producer announced June contract prices with decreases of €55/ton for GPPS and €25/ton decreases for HIPS from May levels. Nowadays, buyers in the Italian PS market are reluctant to make fresh purchases exceeding requuirements as they expect to see further decreases in the days ahead considering the globally bearish sentiment amidst the waning high season for some PS applications. General expectancies centre on a softer trend while a couple of West European producers offer to Turkey at prices that are €140-170/ton lower for GPPS and €120-170/ton lower for HIPS when compared to the prevailing prices in Italy. In Turkey, West European GPPS and HIPS offers for June were revealed with decreases from May. Import offers for GPPS lost ground by €20-40/ton and HIPS offers retreated by €40-90/ton. Despite these decreases and the fact they stand significantly below other markets in the region, European PS offers in Turkey still fail to generate any buying interest given the higher euro/dollar parity and the overall poor market conditions.
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