– Amid falling inventories, tracks rising benzene
– China’s manufacturing PMI at 50.5 March
Asian styrene monomer surged $33.50/mt from Tuesday to $1,051/mt CFR China and $1,011/mt FOB Korea Tuesday amid falling inventories in east China, and tracking the rise in upstream western crude and benzene. There is a rollover in laycans from the average of H2 April and H1 May laycans to H1 and H2 May laycans, in a contango market structure. In the CFR China market, H1 and H2 May were assessed at $1,051/mt, between the best bid heard at $1,050/mt and against the best offer heard at $1,090/mt. The east China domestic market started the day relatively stable before firming in the afternoon, with the May marker closing the day at Yuan 8,075/mt, up Yuan 235/mt from Tuesday. At the 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT), June ICE Brent crude futures were assessed 49 cents/b (0.719%) higher on the day at $68.60/b. Styrene inventories in east China are around 370,000 mt Tuesday, down 33,000 mt on the week, while consumption of 45,000 mt exceeded arrivals of 12,000 mt, market sources said. Despite rebounding for the second straight day, market participants remain bearish and are conservative whether the price uptrend is sustainable. Market sources noted that more positive news or factors is likely necessary for sentiment to improve. In the latest China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index released, the reading for March jumped to 50.5, above the critical 50 level, from 49.2 in February. In market news, the reduction in China’s value added taxes from 16% to 13%, that was announced by the Chinese government earlier, kicked in Tuesday, April 1.
Asian SM was assessed up $33.50/mt from Tuesday at $1,051/mt CFR China and $1,011/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. The markers currently take the average of the H1 May and H2 May laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the Market on Close assessment process on Tuesday. H1 and H2 May were assessed at $1,051/mt, between the best bid heard at $1,050/mt against the best offer heard at $1,090/mt. In the East China domestic market, the May marker was assessed up Yuan 245/mt on the day at Yuan 8,075/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,042.65/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,011/mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,039/mt, based on the pegged $12/mt spread to CFR China.