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European polystyrene buyers may hold off purchases until May on bearish feedstock: sources FIPHARM(GROUP)CO.,LIMITED | 2017-04-19 14:41:08 | Reading:2158 European polystyrene buyers may be holding off purchases until May, defying initial expectations of a pick up in April demand, as low styrene prices led to a bearish outlook for May prices, sources said this week. 

Despite a flurry of inquiries reported at the beginning of April, buy interest for GPPS was heard subsiding this week as buyers remained on the sidelines. 

"Market demand...is slow now and most buyers prefer to delay their purchases since they expect further decreases," a trader source said Wednesday. 

A second trader source said PS buyers expected the styrene contract price to fall three digits in May, which would mean that GPPS prices are lower. 

The styrene spot price was assessed at $1,146.50/mt FOB ARA Wednesday, more than $100/mt lower than $1,249.50/mt on April 3. 

The spot price is currently at a 21% discount to the April contract price agreed at Eur1,375/mt. 

Although buyers were heard to be on the sidelines this week, imports were absent in the Western European market, which could somewhat offset sluggish demand. 

"There is basically no availability from Middle East and Egypt," the first trader source said. 

Uptake in the expandable polystyrene market, however, was heard stronger compared to GPPS. A seller source said: "[EPS] demand is much better than in March." 

S&P Global Platts assessed the GPPS and EPS spot prices at Eur1,450/mt and Eur1,630/mt FD NWE respectively on Wednesday, both unchanged on the week.



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