▶️Market holds a wait-and-see stance.
▶️Operating rate in China over 90%.
Petrotahlil - Asian polystyrene prices in China and Southeast Asia remained stable to firm over July 2 and July 8, despite lower discussions heard in the domestic China market.
Asian general purpose polystyrene rose $5/mt week on week to $925/mt CFR China and $925/mt CFR Southeast Asia on July 8, while high impact polystyrene inched up $5/mt week on week to $1,025/mt CFR China but stayed flat at $1,025/mt CFR SEA on July 8.
Domestic PS remained under pressure despite firmer feedstock styrene, while the increase in CFR China cargoes was partially due to strengthening dollar/yuan rate, said a source.
Nevertheless, the falling domestic PS prices dampened buying interest and market participants held a wait-and-see stance amid uncertainty in the short-term price direction.
Softer demand was seen across Asian regions especially in Southeast Asia where producers received little inquires from buyers.
On the supply side, operating rates at PS plants in China rose to over 90% in the week starting July 5, according to market sources.
High operating rates was also expected in August with good production margins reported by producers.
Elsewhere, a shift in trade flows among South Asia and Southeast Asia was expected as India was set to impose anti-dumping duties on polystyrene imports from six origins.
Producers of non-ADD origins were heard receiving more inquires from Indian buyers amid the loss of domestic supply as LG Polymer India remained shut after the gas leak in April.
“We are still in the discussion stage and not sure about when anti-dumping duties will take effect,” said a seller of non-ADD origin.
Upstream, Asian styrene rose $10/mt on the week to $688/mt CFR China on July 8, tracking the gains in crude oil and feedstock benzene.
Albeit the gains, Asian styrene remained under pressure from stockpiles at port which stood at 317,500 mt, according to market sources.
Platts Asian PS Weekly Rationale
General purpose polystyrene CFR China was assessed up $5/mt week on week at $925/mt on July 8, below the best offer heard at $930/mt and taking into account a deal heard done at $940/mt CFR China.
CFR Southeast Asia was also assessed up $5/mt on the week at $925/mt, below the best offer heard at $930/mt and taking into account a deal heard done at $930/mt CFR SEA.
High-impact polystyrene was assessed up $5/mt week on week at $1,025/mt CFR China on July 8, below the best offer heard at $1,030/mt and considering a deal heard done at $1,030/mt. CFR SEA was assessed flat week on week at $1,025/mt, below an offer heard at $1,030/mt.
Expandable polystyrene FOB Northeast Asia for general purpose grade was assessed up $20/mt on the week at $890/mt on July 8, based on a deal heard done at $890/mt and below the best offer heard at $900/mt.
Flame retardant grade was also assessed up $20/mt week on week at $940/mt on July 8, with the price spread between general purpose and flame retardant grades maintained at $50/mt.
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