9 April, 2018
PS prices in Europe displayed a sharp downturn in April following a four-month long bullish trend as the €125/ton fall in styrene settlement forced suppliers to issue three-digit decreases. Comfortable supply and subdued demand across the region also contributed to the bearish path.
In Italy, decreases of €100-120/ton were revealed for the new month, while buyers’ response to the hefty price cuts has been thin so far. “Converters are not in a hurry to purchase fresh cargos now that the recent strikes in France have not had a considerable impact on supply, which is reported to be comfortable. Plus, the Easter holidays early in the month kept activity moderate,” players remarked.
A South European PS maker started to seek €120/ton decreases in tandem with the lower styrene settlement. A producer source mentioned, “Overall demand was very weak in the first quarter of the year. Therefore, we hope the current bearish trend to generate some buying interest in the days to come.”
A distributor in Belgium reported seeing sluggish demand from his customers even after his three-digit price cuts based on the guidelines from his supplier. “This is mainly because of the lack of supply concerns in the region,” he commented.
Buyers, meanwhile, are holding their waiting stance for now with some of them voicing their early projections to see a new round of PS drops for May. A disposable maker in Italy said, “We received €105/ton lower PS prices from our regular West European suppliers, while a Central European producer offered €100/ton reductions. Yet, we plan to postpone our purchases for a while more as we foresee additional drops of €40/ton for next month.”
A converter in Germany affirmed, “The market remains quiet following the Easter break. Sellers seem open for further discounts depending on the purchasing volumes. Yet, we will maintain our wait-and-see policy since we believe that there is still more room for prices to come down as April wears on.”