– East China domestic prices fall
– Feedstock benzene, ethylene higher
Asian styrene monomer rose $11.50/mt from Tuesday to $1,062.50/mt CFR China and $1,022.50/mt FOB Korea Tuesday, tracking the rise in upstream crude oil futures, as well as higher feedstock benzene and ethylene prices. The spread between CFR China prices and import parity levels in the east China market has widened, in part reflecting diverging fundamentals between China and the rest of Asia, market sources said. While China is facing a continuous stock build, turnaround season in other Asian countries have tightened supply. Bids in the CFR China market were heard at $1,060-$1,065/mt for April cargoes while offers were heard at $1,070/mt for March cargoes. No deals were heard concluded. In the east China domestic market, the March marker was assessed lower by Yuan 30/mt from Tuesday at Yuan 8,330/mt ex-tank, with its import parity at $1,041/mt Tuesday. At 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), ICE April Brent crude futures were at $66.78/b, up $1.95/b from Tuesday. In the feedstock markets, benzene rose $2.50/mt from Tuesday to $614.50/mt CFR China, while ethylene increased by $5/mt to $1,200/mt CFR Northeast Asia Tuesday.
Asian SM was assessed higher by $11.50/mt from Tuesday at $1,062.50/mt CFR China and $1,022.50/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. 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. H1 April was assessed at the pegged level of $1,066/mt CFR China, above the best bid heard at $1,065/mt with no offer heard. Maintaining the pegged March/April spread of minus $7/mt, H2 March was assessed at $1,059/mt CFR China. East China domestic March marker was assessed at Yuan 8,330/mt ex-tank, down Yuan 30/mt from Tuesday. On an import parity basis, this is approximately $1,041/mt. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,022.50/mt Tuesday, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,050.50/mt, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.