Asia styrene prices likely to fall in September as supply increases on several production restarts, softening demand from China

LOS ANGELES , August 30, 2011 () – Tight styrene monomer supply in Asia is expected to ease as several plants in the region resume production following turnarounds and outages, and this could put downward pressure on prices, ICIS news reported Aug. 30, citing market sources.

Supply is also expected to increase on an expected decline in downstream demand towards the second part of the month when activity in the Chinese manufacturing season for exports ease.

SM prices -- supported in August by short supply of spot cargoes and as volatility dominated the crude market -- averaged about US$1,510 per tonne for the month.

Plants resuming operations include Shanghai Secco Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which is slated to restart its 500,000 tonne per year styrene plant in eastern China in late August after taking it offline since Aug. 1.

Yanshan Petrochemical Corp. plans to restart its 80,000-tonne/year plant around the end of September, while Dushanzhi Petrochemical Co. also expects to bring its 320,000-tonne/year plant online at the same time.

Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp. will bring its 180,000-tonne/year plant in Lin Yuan back online in the middle of September after a shut down in late July, while Petrochemical Corp. of Singapore wrapped up maintenance Aug. 25 on the 330,000-tonne/year unit at its Seraya complex in Singapore.

Ningbo ZRCC Lyondell Chemical Co., Ltd. brought its 620,000-tonne/year plant back online Aug. 29 after having it offline since Aug. 26 on technical issues.

The primary source of this article is ICIS news, Surrey, England, Aug. 30, 2011.

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