Chemical Industry Asian Styrene
– More styrene supply expected
– SM margin falls, rising feedstock costs
Asian styrene monomer Chemical Industry prices rebounded $7/mt on the day to $1,077/mt CFR China and $1,037/mt FOB Korea Wednesday, tracking gains in the feedstocks and benchmark crude oil futures. The July ICE Brent crude oil futures increased $1.19/b on the day to $70.97/b Wednesday at 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT). Bids were heard at $1,060-$1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for May arrival cargoes and $1,065-$1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin for June arrival cargoes, but it did not attract any selling interest. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker rose Yuan 80/mt on the day to Yuan 8,310/mt ex-tank Wednesday. According to Chinese market sources, an increase in styrene supply is expected in the coming months after the completion of scheduled plant maintenances in Asia this month, and shipments in China will return to normal. A Chemical Industry source noted that more shipments are expected to arrive in the first half of May. “However, it might be too early to say if supply would be back to normal, there’s still some wait-and-see mentality,” a Chinese trader said. According to S&P Global data, styrene production margin fell $9.20/mt week-on-week to $144/mt on the back of rising feedstock costs. In the feedstock Chemical Industry, ethylene continued to strengthen Wednesday to $960/mt CFR Northeast Asia, up $10/mt day on day, driven by firm demand from the styrene monomer sector. Benzene rebounded $11/mt on the day to $620/mt FOB Korea Wednesday amid persistent demand from Taiwan for June-arrival material, as a second buy tender was seen from the country for June CFR Taiwan benzene (Chemical Industry).
Asian SM was assessed $7/mt up on the day at $1,077/mt CFR China and $1,037/mt FOB Korea Wednesday. 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 Wednesday. H1 and H2 June were assessed at $1,077/mt, above a bid last seen at $1,070/mt CFR Zhangjiagang/Jiangyin, and tracking the gains in East China domestic market in the afternoon. In the East China domestic Chemical Industry, the June marker was assessed up Yuan 80/mt on the day at Yuan 8,310/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,066.32/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,037/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,067/mt, based on the pegged $10/mt spread to CFR China Chemical Industry.