Trade Resources Industry Views Nwe Styrene's Premium Over Feedstocks Rises 6% on Month for December

Nwe Styrene's Premium Over Feedstocks Rises 6% on Month for December

The Northwest European styrene monomer premium over feedstock costs has increased by Eur14/mt in December on the month, a rise of 6%, Platts calculations show. The premium hit a 2015 low in November.

The December styrene contract price settled at Eur995/mt ($1,055/mt) FOB ARA Tuesday, up Eur35/mt from the November MCP, putting the premium over feedstocks at Eur252/mt.

The December benzene MCP rose Eur22/mt on the month to Eur604/mt while the ethylene MCP rose to Eur927.50/mt FD NWE, an increase of Eur22.50/mt, putting styrene feedstock costs for the ethyl-benzene-styrene production process at Eur743/mt for November.

Ethylene and benzene are used to produce ethyl-benzene, the precursor for styrene monomer.

Ethyl-benzene costs are calculated using industry-estimated production ratios of 0.79 for benzene and 0.29 for ethylene.

One source said the impact of the weaker euro against the dollar -- which stood at 1.0579 Monday, down from 1.1032 at the beginning of the month -- made imports into Europe more expensive.

Combined with the bullishness in the spot market, which rose $60.50/mt or 7% during November to $910.50/mt FOB ARA Monday, this caused the styrene MCP to increase above the movements in feedstock costs.

This comes after a long period of high margins over feedstocks during the second and third quarters (see table below), attributed to turnarounds at domestic production plants which caused supply tightness and substantial premiums over feedstocks.

2015 Contract price 
Styrene premium 
over feedstock costs (Eur/mt)
January 950 246.08
February 895 248.51
March 1,070 379.50
April 1,370 558.48
May 1,390 440.73
June 1,410 531.02
July 1,325 378.87
August 1,300 384.44
September 1,200 515.94
October 990 316.75
November 960 237.77
December 995 252.03


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Topics: Metallurgy