The sudden declaration of force majeure by Shell Chemicals saw November styrene spot prices gain $75/tonne since the beginning of the week. European styrene prices are expected to soar following Shell Chemicals‘ declaration of force majeure on styrene at its Moerdijk site earlier this week, with firm benzene costs also supporting the bullishness, sources said on Wednesday.
Deals for November were done at $1,525/tonne on Monday 5 November, and emerging speculation about technical problems at the Moerdijk site saw styrene prices move up to $1,550/tonne by the end of the day.
On Tuesday 6 November, offers opened at $1,590/tonne and a deal was done at $1,570/tonne before confirmation from Shell regarding the force majeure, which was due to an unforeseen steam leakage in the styrene monomer (SM)/propylene oxide (PO) plant. November later traded at $1,580/tonne and $1,600/tonne.
Offers for November and December were at $1,620/tonne this morning, while January was already in contango, with offers at $1,630/tonne.