Polystyrene market outlook weakening in China

01-Feb-10
In China, the prevailing sentiment in the PS market is getting weaker ahead of the approaching Chinese New Year holiday, as per Chemorbis. More buyers show strong resistance towards higher import offer levels, gaining support from softer upstream markets. Spot styrene prices shed $80/ton over a week’s time while most of the decreases have been recorded within the last couple of days. Meanwhile, crude oil continues with its soft trend as prices lost ground by almost US$8/bbl since the beginning of the month and settled at $73.64/bbl as of Thursday the 28th. In the local market, sellers are more eager to offer decreases as they want to speed up their sales ahead of the New Year holiday. Consequently, locally held GPPS prices lost ground by CNY200/ton (US$29/ton) and HIPS prices retreated by CNY250/ton (US$36/ton) to CNY10700-12000/ton (US$1339-1501/ton without VAT) and CNY11250-13000/ton (US$1497-1627/ton without VAT), respectively, on ex-warehouse cash inc VAT basis compared to last week. However, offers remained stable at the high end of the ranges. Meanwhile, traders are still firm regarding their offer levels despite the growing stiff resistance from buyers as some of them elected to raise their prices on the back of the higher offer levels they received from their own suppliers. Now, dutiable GPPS prices are at US$1420-1460/ton while HIPS prices are at US$1500-1550/ton on CFR China, cash basis, indicating US$20/ton and US$10-45/ton increases on week over week basis. However, considering the overall poor market sentiment coupled with lower feedstock costs, the PS market in China is expected to follow a softer trend over the near term.
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