European spot styrene prices continued on an uptrend this week, surging to the highest level since early September last year, although industry insiders are puzzled about the main drivers behind this strong and continuous price rise.
Since Monday, January bids and offers have been hovering around $1,410-1,500 a ton, while February is valued on the substantially same level at $1,420-1,500 a ton.
So far this week, January trade price has reached as high as $1,470/ton, although the value showed a slight decline on Wednesday morning.
The situation of the US market may be one of the reasons that is currently pushing the jump in European styrene prices. Facilities maintenance work was heard to have started in the US recently. It was reported that Styrolution’s unit in Bayport, Texas, has been under planned maintenance for two weeks.
In addition, there seem to be other production issues that have occurred because of severe cold weather in the US, although the exact details are not fully confirmed.
As a response, a few European traders had canceled some shipments or sold them into the US market as they could not reach Europe.
The turnarounds in other two major regions of Asia and Europe have also been widely expected. Styrene traders believed that the supply shrinking from the turnarounds were finally impacting the styrene prices.
In Europe, petrochemical giants BASF, Total and Repsol are among producers expected to start maintenance works in next two months.
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