Styrene Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry

Supported by recent gains in Western crude

Styrene inventory down to 208,000 mt

Asian styrene monomer increased $7/mt from last Friday to $1,068/ mt CFR China and $1,028/mt FOB Korea Friday, supported by the recent gains in upstream western crude, where the June ICE Brent crude futures were up $2.45/b from last Friday at $74.21/b. Day on day, however, styrene prices inched down $5/mt, tracking the steep losses in benzene and ethylene, which were down $14/mt FOB Korea and $10/mt CFR Northeast Asia Friday, respectively. Bids were heard at $1,065/mt CFR China for June-arrival styrene cargoes but it did not attract any selling interest. Discussions were thin and rangebound in the East China domestic market and the May marker fell Yuan 40/mt on the day to Yuan 8,210/mt ex-tank Friday. The drawdown in east China styrene inventory continued, with consumption and arrivals at 20,700 mt and 11,000 mt, respectively, bringing the inventory down to 208,000 mt. However, sources noted that with the exception of China, Asia is facing tighter supply due to the ongoing plant maintenances in the region. Sources added that delayed deepsea cargoes from the US due to the tank fire earlier have further tightened supply in Asia. Besides, Taiwan is also experiencing delayed styrene shipment of Korean material. “Logistical reasons have led to tighter supply in Taiwan for the time being,” said an Asian producer. Weekly styrene was assessed at $1,059/mt CFR Southeast Asia, up $8/mt from last Friday, and $1,062/mt CFR India Friday, up $7/mt from last Friday.

Rationale

Asian SM was assessed down $5/mt on the day at $1,068/mt CFR China and $1,028/mt FOB Korea Friday. The markers currently take the average of the H2 May and H1 June laycans. There were no transparent bids or offers during the market on Close assessment process on Friday. H1 June was assessed at the pegged level of $1,068/mt, above a bid last seen at $1,065/mt CFR China. Maintaining the pegged flat May/June spread, H2 May was assessed at $1,068/mt. In the east China domestic market, the May marker was assessed down Yuan 40/ mt on the day at Yuan 8,210/mt ex-tank, equating to $1,058.29/mt on an import parity basis. The FOB Korea marker was assessed at $1,028/ mt, based on the pegged $40/mt spread to CFR China, while the CFR Taiwan marker was assessed at $1,058/mt, based on the pegged $10/ mt spread to CFR China.

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