– Slightly bearish sentiments, recent weakness in SM
– Downstream markets flat on week amid poor demand
The Asian styrene monomer price held steady at $1,061.50/mt CFR China and at $1,021.50/mt FOB Korea Thursday , tracking stable ethylene prices. In China, prices were moving in mixed directions. The prompt marker fell Yuan 20/mt to Yuan 8,250/mt ex-tank while the March marker was stable at Yuan 8,360/mt ex-tank Thursday . At 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), ICE April Brent crude futures were down 24 cents/b (0.361%) on the day at $66.31/b. Sources noted that while the market expected softer styrene prices since Chinese downstream end-users have yet to return, the persistent decline in prices has affected the confidence level among market participants resulting in slightly bearish sentiments lately. According to market sources, East China inventory stood at 335,500 mt, up 29,000 mt week-on-week, with arrivals of 55,500 mt outstripping consumption of 26,500 mt. In the related downstream markets, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene prices were unchanged week on week at $1,500/mt CFR China and $1,530/mt CFR Southeast Asia amid muted demand although higher offers were heard in the week. In the polystyrene market, general purpose polystyrene prices remained flat from the previous week at $1,250/mt CFR China and $1,260/mt CFR Southeast Asia while high-impact polystyrene was flat at $1,340/mt CFR China and $1,335/mt CFR Southeast Asia Thursday , amid weak demand following the Lunar New Year holidays.
Asian SM was assessed flat on the day at $1,061.50/mt CFR China and $1,021.50/mt FOB Korea Thursday . The CFR China and FOB Korea SM markers currently take the average of the H2 March and H1 April laycans. There were no transparent bids and offers during the Market on Close assessment process on Thursday . H2 March was assessed at $1,059/mt, tracking firmer sentiments in the east China domestic March marker in the afternoon. Maintaining the pegged Mar/Apr spread of minus $5/mt, the April laycans were assessed at $1,064/mt CFR China. The East China domestic March marker was assessed at Yuan 8,360/mt ex-tank Thursday , unchanged day on day. On an import parity basis, this is approximately $1,046/mt. FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,021.50/mt Thursday , based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,049.50/mt Thursday , based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.