For the Quarter Ending September 2023
Throughout the third quarter of 2023, the US Styrene market maintained a bullish outlook. The price of Styrene experienced an incline of approximately 6.8% over the entire duration of Q3. In the first month of Q3, the Styrene market has witnessed a notable upward trajectory, predominantly fueled by the surge in crude oil prices. Additionally, optimistic economic indicators, exemplified by reduced recession fears and rising interest rates, have stimulated economic expansion, further strengthening the market fundamentals, particularly in downstream Automotive industries. Moreover, the market has been impacted by tightening oil supply due to cuts by the organization of petroleum exporting countries, alongside disruptions in the supply chain, contributing to the overall price escalation. In the month of August, due to identical circumstances, the price continued to increase in the first week, but as the month of September approached, the US styrene market maintained a stable price trend, exemplifying resilience amidst various influencing factors. Notably, the market stability can be attributed to the reduced export activity caused by the drought conditions in Panama. This scenario has led to a slowdown in shipping through the Panama Canal, subsequently decreasing the export volume. Consequently, high inventories have been observed in the domestic region, shaping the market fundamentals. Despite the sustained high demand from downstream industries, including sectors such as EPS and Automotive, ample inventories within the local market have played a crucial role in maintaining market stability.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the price of Styrene experienced an incline trend with an overall increment of (22%) during the third quarter of 2023. In the first month of Q3, the surge in Styrene price from the expatiations of slower output recovery, as China imposed a consumption tax on mixed xylene, coupled with a rise in the consumption rate of Styrene from its downstream derivative industries. Unexpected events, such as Wanhua’s early restart and the postponement of shuanging Leasly added market uncertainty. Speculations surrounding the brief shutdown of Lhways and export opportunities further influenced prices. In the second month of Q3, the global Styrene market experienced a noteworthy price surge, primarily driven by the continuous rise in crude oil prices. The uptrend in crude oil costs directly impacts the production expenses of Styrene, subsequently influencing the market price of the final product. Moreover, the market has been influenced by tightening oil supply due to cuts by the organization of petroleum exporting countries, alongside geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions, and growing global demand for crude oil. These factors have collectively contributed to the upward trajectory of prices, pressurized Styrene manufacturers to adjust pricing strategies, and resulted in higher costs for end consumers. Further, in the month of September, the Styrene market has shifted course with stability in its prices, a departure from its previous consistent growth. This adjustment is attributed to market dynamics where customer needs have been met, leading to a saturation in market activity. Furthermore, the modest demand for the product from derivative sectors contributed to the price stability on the domestic front.
Throughout the third quarter of 2023, the Brazilian Styrene market maintained a bullish outlook. The price of Styrene experienced an incline of approximately 22.4% over the entire duration of Q3. At the beginning of Q3, the Styrene market displayed an upward price momentum driven by competitive market conditions and the escalation of Crude oil prices. The surge in prices has been further bolstered by robust demand fundamentals and increased spot activity on a global scale. Further, in the month of August, a significant surge in its market value was observed. The upswing in prices was attributed to the limited availability of materials and disruptions in transportation, leading to a tighter supply situation. Combined with cuts in oil supply by the organization of petroleum exporting countries, the prices for Styrene led to significant price escalations. Furthermore, the surge in demand from key industries such as polystyrene and its derivative sector also influenced the market dynamics. Coming in the last month of Q3, The styrene market in Brazil maintained stability, with prices consistently holding firm at a high level. During Aug 2023, the cost of Styrene CFR Santos surged to USD 1271/MT. Despite robust and continuous demand from various downstream industries, the presence of substantial stockpiles within the domestic market, largely attributed to a consistent supply stream from the United States, has ensured that the market remains adequately supplied.
In the European market, Styrene has experienced a noticeable inclining trend within the entire third quarter of 2023 with approximately (34%). At the beginning of Q3, the Styrene market showcased a bullish market trend. As per market analysts, the Styrene market has increased its prices due to heightened competition and elevated crude oil expenses. The augmentation in demand fundamentals and intensified spot activity on a global level have further contributed to the upward movement of prices. Moreover, a discernible surge in buyer interest in the international market, particularly from crucial sectors such as Polymers and construction, has spurred substantial consumption. This robust demand has led market participants to sustain the upward trajectory of prices. This upward momentum continued till August. Further, in the month of September, the Styrene market presented a declining trend, characterized by subdued prices. The correction in the price was observed as the consumers in the European region lost interest in further investment in the product as Manufacturing PMI edged slightly lower to 43.4 in September 2023 from 43.5 in August, below market forecasts of 44, preliminary estimates showed. The reading continued to point to a very fragile and weak manufacturing sector amid waning demand for products.
During the third quarter of 2023, the Styrene market in the Arabian region experienced an increment of around 6.6%. At the beginning of Q3, the Styrene market exhibited a bullish trend promoted not just by the thriving downstream Polymer industry but also by mounting concerns over crude oil prices. The robust Styrene market fundamentals, characterized by strong demand for petrochemical feedstock, have further contributed to the heightened demand for Styrene. Strong buyer interest from the international market, particularly from the Automotive and Rubber industries, has driven the price upward. Further, in the month of August, the price remained saturated and continued to consolidate in its price zone. Further, in September, an upswing in prices was observed, attributed to the limited availability of materials and incessant aggressive demand from the Asian region, which led to a tighter supply situation in the local market. Furthermore, rising feedstock Benzene and Ethylene prices strengthened Styrene production costs and forced manufacturers to increase their prices.
For the Quarter Ending June 2023
In the second quarter of 2023, the Styrene market value showed an overall declining price trend amid uncertain economic conditions coupled with the rising inflation rate. In April, the price of Styrene showed an increase in price due to high demand from the major associated downstream Solvent and Derivative industries amid insufficient availability of material. Furthermore, the surge in crude oil prices also supported the market trend during this time period. In May, the debt crisis that happened due to the simultaneous downfall of major banks in the USA caused a drastic effect on the US marketing condition and provoked the buyers to hold back from placing large orders with its feedstock Benzene and Ethylene prices remaining at its lower edge, consequently hampered the Styrene market growth, the continuous declined crude oil prices around the globe showed its effects on the styrene market also, due to which in the month June sharp drop in the price of styrene was observed, with its overall Styrene FOB Texas showcased a decrement of (4%) during the Q2 2023.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the price of Styrene experienced a mixed trend during the second quarter of 2023. The market sentiments fluctuated based on various factors impacting demand and supply dynamics. At the beginning of the quarter, the Styrene market witnessed a surge in price trend. A rise in demand from its downstream industries, such as Solvent and rubber, put significant pressure on the supply of material in the Chinese market. Coming to the last two months of Q2, the domestically traded price of styrene in the Chinese market assessed a declined price trajectory. This drop was observed due to the extended weakness in the buyer appetite in the domestic market, with sluggish end-user consumption in the key derivative and Rubber industry. Additionally, the Styrene prices were also impacted by the continuous reducing feedstock Benzene and Ethylene prices, also weak crude oil prices decreased the overall production cost of material; thus, market players experienced pressure and provided discounts on the product to sell their stocks which kept the styrene market on its lower end. Thus, the Styrene CFR Shanghai experienced an overall decrement of (10%) within the Q2 time period.
The Styrene market has witnessed a mixed price trend during the second quarter of 2023 in the South American region. At the beginning of Q2, the Styrene market witnessed a surge in price trend fueled not only by crude oil prices but also by the raised demand from the major downstream Solvent and Rubber industries. As a result, the industry's heightened demand has created a supply-demand imbalance, resulting in notable price escalations. In order to meet the growing demand, a significant increase in trading activities for the commodity has been observed. Moreover, market participants shifted their focus towards acquiring substantial stocks to further stockpile inventories during April and May. Coming to the last month of Q2, the market value of styrene showcased a declining price trajectory as market participants claimed to already procure a substantial amount of the product in the previous month, which led to market saturation. Additionally, weak cost support from the upstream crude oil prices manipulated market participants for furthermore investment in the product. In conclusion, overall, Styrene CFR Santos experienced a drop of approximately (3.3%) during the entire Q2 time period.
In the European region, the Domestic Styrene market has witnessed a mixed-price trend during the second quarter of 2023. At the beginning of Q2, an upswing in the styrene market was observed. This uptick in Styrene's market sentiments is primarily driven by increased demand from downstream industries such as Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Polystyrene (PS), and other polymer industry. Furthermore, this surge in demand has also raised material export activity, and suppliers faced difficulties in meeting the growing requirement by exploring international and local markets. This has resulted in increased export volumes, contributed to supply chain dynamics, and played a role in mitigating the supply-demand imbalance. Furthermore, coming to the last two months of Q2 overall Styrene market showcased a downward trend, as the request for styrene from the associated downstream industries remained moderate but regular inflow of material kept the buyers on the side-lines with high Styrene records, which resulted in muted trading activities for this commodity. In addition, the declining crude oil price continuously manipulates market participants to keep the prices on a weaker slope to keep the prices competitive. Furthermore, economic uncertainty and recession fear continue to govern market sentiments. However, the Styrene FOB Rotterdam market remained down by approximately (5.7%) within the Q2 time period.
In Saudi Arabia, the Styrene market experienced a mixed trend during the second quarter of 2023. At the beginning of the quarter, the Styrene market witnessed a surge in price trend. This growth is attributed to the surge in demand for downstream industries such as Rubber and Solvent. Additionally, favorable market conditions and stable economic growth played a role in the upward trend of the Styrene market in April. Moving to May, the Styrene market in Saudi Arabia showcased a declining trend due abundance of material availability and weak cost support from the crude oil prices. Furthermore, in June, a slump in crude oil prices also reduced feedstock Benzene and Ethylene prices due to which overall production cost of material experienced a drop, consequently affecting market fundaments and keeping the market at its lower edge. Additionally, diminished consumption rates from the downstream associated industries manipulated market participants for further investment in the product. With it, enterprises didn't show any interest in bulk purchasing. Instead, the market participants looked interested in procuring their stocks on an immediate basis amid feeble purchasing activities in the international market during this month. Anyway, overall, Styrene FOB Dammam prices showcased a decrement of approximately (5%) during the entire Q2 time period.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Styrene market showcased mixed sentiments on account of fluctuating upstream (crude oil) prices in the regional market. Towards the end of the quarter witnessed a hike in Styrene price as the demand-supply gap increased along with increased crude oil cost. The US labor shortage and supply chain issues further exacerbated the situation. Towards the end of last quarter, the declining temperatures and the Brazil carnival impacted the production rate of Styrene in the regional market. The purchasing activity from downstream (Polystyrene, ABS, and SBR) declined proportionally, impacting the final prices of Styrene in the US market in Q1 2023.
The Asia-Pacific market witnessed a continuous decline in Styrene prices on account of a slow production rate. The initial phase of the quarter witnessed a fall on account of declining upstream (crude oil) prices in the international market. Consequently, the suppliers and end users stockpiled the product. Moreover, the demand for the product from downstream (polystyrene, ABS, and SBR) in Feb was slow, proportionally impacting the final prices. Moreover, the second half of the quarter witnessed other factors, such as truckers' strikes in South Korea and a sluggish supply chain. The Chinese market remained quiet throughout the quarter on the back of COVID restrictions and slow demand for the product. Suppliers received fewer inquiries impacting the final prices in the Asian market.
Throughout the first quarter of 2023, the Styrene market showcased weak market sentiments on the back of fluctuating upstream (crude oil) prices in the international market. The demand for the product declined along with varying crude oil prices in the domestic market. The inflation rate stabilized, yet the overall Styrene market followed the southward momentum. With increasing energy prices and a slow employment rate, the demand for the product declined amidst the seasonal changes occurring in the region. Polymer and Styrene industries showcased slow demand impacting the final prices of Styrene in the European market.