Feedstock costs for styrene in August have declined, but supply concerns in the styrene market have turned the market bullish, likely altering contract negotiations on Wednesday, according to industry sources in Platts. The August ethylene contract price fully settled last week at Eur965/mt, a rollover, while the benzene contract price fully settled Monday at US$757/mt (Eur645/mt), down US$36/mt (Eur50/mt).
Styrene spot prices have been falling for most of July, declining to US$1,130.50/mt on July 26, a month-to-date low, and a significant decrease from US$1,278.50/mt on July 3. Lower spot, combined with an expected fall in feedstock costs, led styrene and downstream industry sources to anticipate a drop in the styrene contract price for August. However, supply concerns emerged at the end of last week, with other outage problems heard on Monday, which turned the market bullish.
Last week, LyondellBasell/Covestro's propylene oxide styrene/monomer unit will undertake about five days of maintenance work at the beginning of August, according to industry sources. The fire at Shell's Pernis refinery also affecting the styrene market, sources said.