Asian styrene went higher

Asian styrene monomer rose to a two-month high of $1,081.50/mt CFR China Friday, $18/mt higher day on day, along with the strength in feedstock benzene. On the month, prices have spiked $110.50/mt. SM FOB Korea was assessed at $1,031.50/mt Friday. Amid thin trading in the physical market, bids were heard at $1,070-$1,085/mt CFR China with no offers heard. In the East China domestic market, the prompt marker was assessed up Yuan 130/mt on the day at Yuan 8,560/mt Friday, with its import parity equivalent at$1,079/mt. “Prices have been rising rapidly lately, likely supported by restocking needs but there are no selling interests despite the high inventory. The quantity available is limited even if there is anyone who is willing to offer. The market might stay around the current price level until the Lunar New Year holidays,” a Chinese market participant said. Another source noted that the uptrend in the styrene market is likely to remain specially with the tighter supply in Asia during the turnaround season in March-April. A market participant said that sentiments have improved on better-than-expected market situation in January, but noted that there are still concerns on demand following the holidays. In the feedstock benzene market, the CFR China marker increased $14/mt day on day to $602.50/mt Friday. RATIONALE: Asian SM was assessed up $18/mt on the day at $1,081.50/mt CFR China and$1,031.50/mt FOB Korea Friday. These markers currently take the average of the H2 February and H1 March laycans. There were no transparent bids and offers during the  Market on Close assessment process on Friday. H2February was assessed at the pegged level of $1,077/mt CFR China. Maintaining the pegged February/March spread of $9/mt, H1 March was assessed at $1,086/mt CFR China. The East China domestic prompt marker was assessed at Yuan 8,560/mt ex-tank Friday, up Yuan 130/mt on the day. On an import parity basis, this is approximately $1,079/mt. FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,031.50/mt Friday, based on the pegged $50/mt spread to CFR China, while CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,069.50/mt Friday, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.  amends the following line in the January 30 Asian styrene rationale: CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at$1,051.50/mt Thursday, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.

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