Strengthening construction sector, tightened supply in Asia and Europe may improve European styrene demand and prices in April; reduced demand for glycol and de-icer because of improving weather may weaken PS, EPS supply in construction sector

LONDON , April 2, 2014 () – The strengthening construction sector along with tightened supply in Asia and Europe may improve Apr European styrene demand and prices, which recently ended within $1570-1590/tonne FOB (free on board) after falling at around $1535-1550/tonne. A steady restock was seen from Mar to Apr, with transactions secured above $1600/tonne over the week ended 7 Mar. The improving weather may weaken polystyrene (PS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS) supply in the construction sector, as reduced demand for glycol and de-icer limits PO/SM (propylene oxide/styrene monomer) production. Meanwhile, CFR China prices have reached the $1600/tonne levels. Following a weak 1Q 2014, a seasonal upturn in demand along with scheduled maintenance works for ARA units from Feb to May may raise prices upward due to tightened supply. Supply restrictions would be alleviated by imports from the US, which along with Europe boasts a cheaper freight rate compared to Asia. A graph entitled, Europe styrene prices, shows the spot price trend ($/tonne) for styrene on an FOB Rotterdam basis from Mar 2013 to Mar 2014

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