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Deep-sea SM to boost east China inventory amid weak demand

December 21/2010

(ICIS) -- Some 70,000-80,000 tonnes of US styrene monomer (SM) will flow into China through February, raising concerns of a strong inventory build-up as demand for the product is expected to remain weak, industry sources said on Tuesday.


A portion of the expected volume had started flowing into China this month, as loading of shipments from the US Gulf began in October and would continue up to end-December 2010, they said.


In the week ending 17 December, SM inventory in east China stood at 75,000 tonnes, representing a 15.4% increase from two weeks ago, market sources said.


The volume of deep-sea cargoes scheduled for shipment to China in the fourth quarter was about 10,000 tonnes higher compared with the import shipments in the same period in 2009, based on customs data.


The US supply coming into China were priced at between $1,250-1,325/tonne (?950-1,007/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China, said a seller.


Meanwhile, buying indications in east China had been limited over the past two weeks, which could prompt traders to just hold on to their SM stocks, the seller added.


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