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Tight supply of styrene monomer in Asia may ease in September

August 30/2011

(ICIS) -- Asias tight supply of styrene monomer (SM) in Asia may ease in September, with a number of regional facilities coming back on stream following turnarounds and, in the case of some plants, outages, market players said on Tuesday.

SM buyers expect spot prices to slip next month on increased supply of the material, and with demand for downstream plastic resins usually waning towards the second half of September, as the seasonal peak in the Chinese manufacturing season for exports draws to a close.

Limited availability of spot cargoes throughout August helped prop up SM prices at an average of around USD 1,510/tonne (EUR 1,042/tonne) in August, against a backdrop of widely fluctuating crude prices, according to ICIS. Crude prices traded at a wide range of USD 76-87/bbl in August.

Spot inventories along the eastern Chinese shore tanks were at 50,000-60,000 tonnes in August, compared to 70,000-85,0000 tonnes in July, market sources said.

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