Styrene industry poised for an up cycle

Worldwide styrene margins improved considerably in 2002 and should continue a positive trend during the next 2-3 years, according to Chemical Market Associates Inc. (CMAI).The 2003 World Styrene Analysis covers 6 years of existing data from 1997-2002 and contains a forecast for 2003-07.A combination of outages, heavy turnaround schedule, restrictions on supply from propylene oxide-styrene monomer (POSM) plants, and inventory rebuilding pushed effective operating rates and margins higher in 2002, according to the analysis.Demand recovered after fall of 2001, CMAI says, but supply problems helped tighten the market and improve profitability. Styrene producers, however, did not share this pr...

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