– Spot cargo availability limited elsewhere in Asia
– Styrene monomer production margin $90.80/mt
Asian styrene monomer extended its gains from Tuesday by $7/mt to $1,083/mt CFR China and $1,043/mt FOB Korea Tuesday on continuing optimism that fundamentals will improve from late March due to the scheduled turnarounds. Discussions were thin in the physical market. In the east China domestic market, prices rose from the start of the day, with the prompt marker assessed up Yuan 100/mt at Yuan 8,460/mt ex-tank. “Chinese market participants are hoping for a jump in prices to support the market, even though tank space is full,” said a Chinese trader. A source noted that while there were expectations that the high inventory in east China would ease this week, there is no progress yet. Spot cargoes availability, however, is limited elsewhere in Asia, in particular South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. Besides the stockpiles issue, the US-China trade negotiation remains as another concern in the market. In the feedstock markets, benzene fell $3/mt from Tuesday to $629/mt CFR China on the high inventory in China while ethylene dropped $20/mt from Tuesday to $1,130/mt CFR Northeast Asia Tuesday on softer demand from the SM market. This brings the SM production margin to $90.80/mt Tuesday, up $19.20/mt on the week but down $36.90/mt on the month. Operating rates of SM plants in China remain high with healthy demand from downstream plants, said market sources.
Asian SM was assessed up $7/mt from Tuesday at $1,083/mt CFR China and $1,043/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. The CFR China and FOB Korea SM markers currently take the average of the H1 and H2 April laycans. There were no transparent bids and offers during the Market on Close assessment process on Tuesday. H1 and H2 April were assessed at $1,083/mt CFR China, tracking weaker sentiments in the east China domestic market in the afternoon. In the East China domestic market, the prompt marker was assessed at Yuan 8,460/mt ex-tank Tuesday, up Yuan 100/mt from Tuesday. On an import parity basis, this is approximately $1,066.40/mt. FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,043/mt Tuesday, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,071/mt Tuesday, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.