Petrotahlil :Spot styrene prices in Asia ended last week at their highest in four months, thanks to a decline in inventories in the region. Although firmer pricing in spot benzene prices lent an additional support, market players remained cautious about the recent uptrend. Suspicions regarding the longevity of increases proved warranted when spot styrene prices recorded a daily loss at the start of this week.
Markets end last week at 4-month high
As of the end of last week, spot styrene prices jumped $70-75/ton from a week earlier to reach their highest levels since May.
Spot prices began to gain momentum early last week, buoyed by the news the US and China trade representative will be meeting in early October. The real boost, however, came from a draw in styrene stocks in China. This coupled with an improvement in the sentiment led to a weekly surge.
Gains in styrene help stabilize PS markets in Asia
Rising spot styrene prices in the region also provided support to downstream markets last week, with PS prices in China and Southeast Asia stabilizing following previous losses. Purchasing activities, meanwhile, remained limited across both regions.
Persistence of trend comes under question
However, markets remained cautious regarding the recent uptrend as several factors continued to threaten a long-term uptrend. The volatility in the Chinese yuan and the lack of sustained strength in demand were among factors that weighed on the trend.
Daily loss puts a dent on long-term upward movement
At the start of this week, spot styrene prices in Asia saw a downward correction, giving credence to concerns that the uptrend may last shorter. The daily loss was attributed to an increase in stockpiles. The volatility in supply and demand dynamics as well as the uncertain direction of crude oil prices still cast a shadow on the near-term outlook of the spot styrene pricing.
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