Chemical Industry news of Asian Styrene
– Tracks weaker upstream benzene, crude
– SM inventory drops 17,000 mt on week to 298,000 mt
Asian styrene monomer prices fell $8/mt from Tuesday to $1,070/mt CFR China and $1,030/mt FOB Korea Tuesday, tracking weaknesses in the upstream crude and benzene Chemical Industries. In the east China domestic market, the June marker fell Yuan 60/mt from Tuesday to Yuan 8,230/mt ex-tank Tuesday. A market participant noted that the decline is on the back of a softer macroeconomic situation. There was an increased Chemical Industry focus on the progress of the US-China trade negotiations after US president Donald Trump threatened to impose additional tariffs on China. However, some sources said that any price movement in styrene and its downstream Chemical Industry due to the potential trade limitations is sentiment-driven. “There is no impact on supply-demand fundamentals at the moment,” a trader said. At 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), the July ICE Brent crude oil futures dipped 41 cents/b from Tuesday’s settle to $69.78/b Tuesday. According to market sources, total SM inventory in China declined 17,000 mt on the week to 298,000 mt Tuesday. A Chinese trader noted that downstream demand was stable with no significant change after the Chemical Industry returned from holiday. While buying interest would resume after the break, downstream producers are holding relatively high SM inventory as operating rates were lowered during the holidays, the trader said. Further, styrene shipments into China are expected to be relatively concentrated in early May. In statistics news, India’s styrene imports surged 49.7% on the month to 89,657 mt in February. Total imports have increased 28% year on year.
Asian SM was assessed $8/mt down from Tuesday at $1,070/mt CFR China and $1,030/mt FOB Korea Chemical Industry Tuesday. The markers currently take the average of the H1 and H2 June laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the Chemical Industry on Close assessment process on Tuesday. H1 and H2 June were assessed at the pegged level of $1,070/mt. In the east China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker was assessed down Yuan 60/mt from Tuesday at Yuan 8,230/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,060.28/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,030/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,060/mt, based on the pegged $10/mt spread to CFR China.