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European Dec styrene premium over feedstocks slumps 9% amid sharp cost rise

London — The European styrene premium over feedstocks fell 9% on the month in Decemberto Eur279/mt ($332/mt), as the sharp increase in costs outpaced the rise instyrene, according to S&P Global Platts data.

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The styrene December contract price was fully settled at Eur1,255/mtFriday, up Eur95/mt on the month. Despite a large increase in the contractsettlement, its premium over feedstocks declined due to a faster rise incosts.

The December benzene contract price was fully settled at $1,002/mt orEur847/mt, up $187/mt or Eur145/mt. The ethylene contract price was fullysettled at Eur1,057/mt, up Eur32/mt on the month.

Taking an industry estimated 0.79 units of benzene and 0.29 of ethylene toproduce one unit of ethylbenzene, a precursor of styrene, costs werecalculated at Eur976/mt.

In the benzene market, strong export demand in the prompt market due totightness in the US market led to the contract price exceeding the $1,000/mtmark, the first time since February 2017.

Rising crude oil and naphtha prices also supported the price increase inbenzene.

--Yuriko Kato, yuriko.kato@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com