The February benzene CP is expected to fall from January’s level, as an ever lengthening spot market on downstream outages and closed arbitrages has piled pressure on spot prices.
Crude oil and gasoline prices have lent support to toluene, rendering the economics of converting toluene into benzene unattractive in Europe.
The Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp market could lengthen in the first days of February as imports from southern Europe were heard to be offered into the spot market.
It remains to be seen whether there are any MX exports out of Europe, as the trans-Atlantic arbitrage remains open on paper.
After a full settlement of the PX January European CP at Eur795/mt, market participants are now keeping an eye out for developments in the PX February Asian CP negotiations.
The February styrene CP is expected to settle this week and expectations are bullish. Turnarounds in all regions are expected to keep supply tight in February.
The polystyrene and ABS industry will be concluding January contracts this week.
Lackluster demand for GPPS in January has meant seller margins are unlikely to grow in January. In ABS, rising Asian prices have limited import competition from Asia.