Spot market off to quiet start amid thin discussions

– Buyers look to May cargoes

– Asian markers up $11.50/mt on day

The European styrene market started the week on a quiet note amid thin discussions Tuesday. S&P Global   assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,002/mt FOB ARA Tuesday, up $3.50/mt on the day. Bids in the European market were heard at $995/mt for March cargoes while offers were heard at $1,040 /mt for April cargoes. Buyers and sellers looked to May cargoes ahead of the turnaround season in the second quarter. No deals were heard concluded. Buying interest faded Tuesday as sources described the day as “quiet” and “dull”. Further upstream, fundamentals in the benzene market were unchanged, with demand generally soft despite recent price increases. “Prices are a little bit higher but no one wants to take [benzene],” the source said. The styrene-benzene spread was last seen at $389/mt Tuesday, remaining in healthy territory, well above the breakeven level of $250/mt. In Asia, styrene rose $11.50/mt from Tuesday to $1,062.50/mt CFR China and $1,022.50/mt FOB Korea Tuesday. While China is facing a continuous stock build, the turnaround season in other Asian countries has tightened supply. According to market sources, styrene inventory in east China stood at 312,500 mt last Tuesday.

RATIONALE:

S&P Global   assessed styrene for loading 5-30 days forward at $1,002/mt FOB ARA Tuesday, up $3.50/mt on the day. February was assessed at $979/mt, unchanged on the day, with no disproving indications. March was assessed at $1,009/mt, also unchanged on the day, within the bid-offer range heard at $995-1,010/mt.

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