Supply/demand for styrene monomer remains slack in China
Perceptions of slack supply/demand remained in the styrene monomer (SM) market in China.
On the supply side, SM facilities that had previously entered regular maintenance resumed operations. As some makers extended their maintenance period, production in April was on an uptrend. With enormous exports of SM from China before April, ample supply in the domestic market was alleviated to some extent but SM stocks were not being digested as quickly as expected.
For talks going forward, about 80,000mt of cargoes in total for April loading were expected to be exported. In addition, Britain's Shell declared force majeure on SM supply in Europe. Thus, some sources hoped that exports to Europe might be more active in the future.
On the other hand, in China, the spread of COVID-19 disrupted delivery of SM products and this might cause stocks to pile up, according to sources. Moreover, buying interest for SM from derivative makers was lackluster. Under this situation, some sources gave views that SM price movements going forward would depend on the spread of COVID-19.