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General purpose polystyrene pre-buying in Europe dampens buying interest in January

London (Platts)--11 Jan 2018 944 am EST/1444 GMT


Pre-buying of general purpose polystyrene in the European market has dampened buying interest in January, according to sources this week.

The GPPS spot price was assessed at Eur1,365/mt ($1,630.50/mt) FD NWE Wednesday, unchanged on the week. The GPPS net contract price was assessed at Eur1,450/mt FD NWE Wednesday, up Eur10.

Back in December, buyers had expected a large hike in the January styrnee contract price, which led them to pre-buy product to shield themselves against volatility in feedstocks.

"[Most converters] had covered their needs with pre-buying in December and this partly explains the quiet demand we are seeing now," a trader said.

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Sources at the time in December said the styrene contract price could increase by three digits. The styrene settlement was below expectations, with the January contract settling at Eur1,265/mt, a modest Eur10 increase.

Nevertheless, sellers were heard raising their nominations by Eur15-Eur35/mt in a bid to increase margins.

A second buyer source said that turnarounds in the styrene market in February and March could lead to sharp monthly increases for the rest of the first quarter. As a result, he remained cautious about the outlook fo GPPS January prices.

Sentiment in the Asian market was bearish this week due to lackluster demand. The CFR China GPPS price was assessed at $1,435/mt, down $5 on the week.

--Yuriko Kato, yuriko.kato@spglobal.com
--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com




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