23 April, 2018
Bullish pricing sentiment across Asian PS markets has been maintained over the last week as regional sellers either kept their offers stable or applied a new round of hikes by pointing to surging crude oil futures. On the other hand, spot styrene prices in Asia have slightly turned softer since early last week, pushing buyers to the sidelines and raising questions about the sustainability of the rising PS trend.
Data from ChemOrbis Price Index reveal that the weekly averages of import GPPS and HIPS prices in China and Southeast Asia have recorded cumulative increases of around $40-50/ton since the upturn kicked off in end-March.
A Taiwanese producer raised its PS offers by $20/ton last week, citing firmer crude oil and the previous gains in styrene prices. “We are willing to negotiate with buyers who place firm bids. The number of inquiries is quite limited.PS might see some downward corrections in the near term if spot styrene prices continue to drop,” a producer source commented.
A trader reported that a South Korean producer applied hikes of $50/ton on GPPS and $60-70/ton on HIPS offers last week owing to the firm sentiment in its own market. “However, we are not sure whether these increases will prove workable in the near term as styrene continues to fluctuate,” the seller opined.
A trader in China noted, “As long as the energy complex preserves its bullish run, we don’t expect to see any major losses in PS prices. Still, sellers’ hike attempts might fail to work as softer styrene is pushing buyers to the sidelines.”