Polystyrene prices in Asia on the rise across the globe on higher input costs

Asia, spot styrene prices, which have moved up on higher feedstock costs and supply issues in the region, pushed PS producers to raise their prices despite no major demand fluctuation. Overall PS demand, especially in China, does not indicate any changes while it is mostly described as normal, as per ChemOrbis. Last week, FOB Korea based spot styrene prices gained US$45/ton on week over week while they indicated US$70/ton increases when compared to early July levels. Meanwhile, CFR China based prices also represented increases over the same period with prices reported to be US$50/ton higher from the previous week and US$80/ton higher when compared with the beginning of July. These gains are attributed to feedstock benzene costs which moved up by US$50/ton over a week’s time and are US$115/ton higher when compared with the prices reported at the start of July. Meanwhile, an August benzene contract in the region also recorded US$115/ton increases over July. Besides feedstock costs, lower styrene inventories in China coupled with the force majeure news from Ellba Eastern (a joint venture between Shell and BASF) took their toll on the styrene market. Ellba Eastern declared force majeure on its 550,000 tpa styrene/propylene oxide plant in Singapore, on July 29. However, as of late Friday, the force majeure was reported to be lifted, according to a source from Shell.Considering all these developments, Asian PS prices climbed upwards. Inside China, prices were stable to CNY100-200/ton (US$16-31/ton) higher over the past week while import Asian prices to China indicated US$10-20/ton increases over the week before. A tableware manufacturer, who received higher import offers, told ChemOrbis, “We think that strong styrene costs are likely to cause PS prices to move higher. Therefore, we are planning to make some fresh purchases.” In Turkey, in line with the developments in Asia, import PS prices from that region recorded US$30-40/ton increases at the low end of the ranges. Meanwhile, in Egypt, Far Eastern offers increased by US$40-50/ton and Southeast Asian offers moved up by US$10-30/ton. A trader in Egypt complained about limited supplies while he attributed this situation to late shipments. “We are still trying to deliver our July orders,” he further added. Overall demand is not reported to be great in the country but it is expected to pick up following the Ramadan holiday.
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