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Ineos Styrolution returns Sarnia styrene plant to service
HOUSTON, July 5, 2016 (PCW) –- Ineos Styrolution’s 431,000 mt/yr (950 million lb/yr) styrene plant in Sarnia, Canada, was returned to service late last week after nearly a two-month planned turnaround.
The unit went down in early May.
With the plant’s return to service, increased length in the market has had a dampening effect on prices. Even as Asian values soared over $1000/mt on plant outages and lower inventories in the region, US spot prices were notionally pegged between $960-970/mt FOB USG on Tuesday.
Adding to the length is Total’s force majeure on polystyrene at its Carville, Louisiana, plant, which is putting more spot styrene in the market. Spot styrene was last done at $950/mt FOB USG last week, although netbacks to Asia indicate much higher notional values.
Several US styrene suppliers said they were sold out through August and were now working on September loadings, with Asia being the market of choice.
In August and September, several styrene plants are expected to go down for turnarounds in Asia. Additionally, due to the September G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, several aromatics plants and refineries in the province and the neighboring provinces of Shanghai and Ningbo are either shutting down or reducing production in order to improve the air quality. This is further tightening prices and incentivizing US exports. -- Samantha Hartke