April PS prices from Europe started to be announced with massive increases by the middle of this week, according to ChemOrbis. Although buyers expected to see €200/ton increases before the monomer contracts, a €300/ton spike on the new styrene contract settlements combined with already tight supplies paved the way for larger hikes of between €300-315/ton on PS prices. An initial April styrene contract reportedly settled in Europe at €1370/ton ($1473/ton) on Wednesday.
A West European PS producer announced their initial April offers with €315/ton hikes, with a producer source highlighting, “We will not concede to any discounts during this month considering tight supplies and good incoming orders. However, we are aware of the fact that vivid demand mainly stems from short supplies on styrene and PS.”
According to a statement on the company’s website, another West European producer also started April with hefty hikes on its PS and ABS prices. The producer increased its GPPS and HIPS prices by €320/ton ($346/ton).
In Italy, a disposables converter reported that it was hard to find material in the second part of March and the April outlook is strong considering the sharp increases on spot styrene costs throughout last month and rather tight supplies. A packager in the country noted, “We will inquire about fresh offers after Easter holidays and we foresee increases similar to the monomer settlement. Some converters with low stocks were worried about April PS hikes saying that it will be hard to reflect such increases to their end product prices.”
However, some buyers are planning to keep their purchasing activity in check during April as they believe the market may change direction to find some price relief in May-June once offline capacities resume operations.
In Germany, a converter argued, “We are running our factories at full rates due to high end product demand. PS supplies are extremely short while we face delayed deliveries. Although we heard about €315/ton official hikes, we will purchase hand to mouth in April as we expect slight decreases in May and further decreases in June-July.”
In Turkey, new PS offers for two different West European origins appeared with €300-330/ton hikes month over month today as per ChemOrbis pricing service. Traders attributed the spike to the styrene settlement as well.