NWE styrene rise shrugs of reduction in feedstock benzene prices amid strong demand

The Northwest European styrene spot price rose at the start of the week amid strong demand, shrugging off declines in feedstock benzene, according to Platts Market Data. The styrene spot price was assessed at US$1100/mt FOB ARA Monday, rising by US$15/mt since the end of the previous week- a sharp contrast with the US$11.50/mt fall in the benzene price to US$658/mt CIF ARA Monday. Fundamentals in styrene and firm polymer demand drove price higher. The decline in benzene against the rise in benzene led to the spread between the two products increasing to US$442/mt, the highest since September 2015. The spread has been at "healthy" levels so far this month, averaging US$406/mt, according to sources. High prices in Europe may attract more imports from the US, which could put downward pressure on prices. Iran plans to set up petrochemical hub in Austria to better access markets in East Europe Iran’s Petrochemical Commercial Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an Austrian company to set up a petrochemical hub to access petrochemical markets in Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Slovakia, as company MD Mehdi Sharifi Niknafs was quoted in an Iran Daily News report.
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