Spot styrene prices in Europe recorded significant increases at the beginning of February as compared to early January level, as per Chemorbis. They mostly followed a volatile trend in February, albeit they still remain firm. In the first week of February, spot prices gained US$25/ton and lost US$30/ton in the following week. After that, they gained US$114/ton on FOB NWE basis. This brings the overall increase amount since the beginning of February to US$$105-110/ton.
The rebounding energy market is the main reason behind last week’s bullishness in the styrene feedstock costs. Nymex March crude futures settled rose by four dollars in the previous week. The US Federal Reserve elected to raise interest rate on short-term loans to banks, causing the US dollar to rise as crude prices moved south during trade on Friday.
The outlook remains unclear for the European styrene contract as spot prices have been fluctuating in a wide range. This situation also affects the PS market as Italian players pronounce divergent ideas regarding March business. Buyers in the country hope to see a break in the ongoing price hikes although producers are already planning increases to improve margins. Players await styrene contract for March to have a clearer idea. The February contract in the region had settled with €13-16/ton decreases at €1002-1005/ton on FD NWE basis compared to January. While PS demand in Italy remains sluggish as converters are not satisfied with their end business, tightness persists in the region, which helped sellers achieve stable to firmer figures this month despite the lower styrene contract and volatile spot styrene.