Germany’s BASF is set to restart its styrene monomer production unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany, by the end of October, according to market sources. The unit began planned maintenance works in mid-August and is expected to be offline for up to eight weeks. BASF has not provided any further details regarding the restart date.
Ramping Up Process Underway
While some sources have mentioned that the ramping up process has already started, others believe that the restart has been scheduled for the end of the month. Market experts speculate that a potential delay in restarting the unit may be attributed to the current styrene spot price, which is almost at parity with benzene, the feedstock for styrene production. Producing styrene at current benzene values is not favorable, especially considering the weak demand for derivatives.
European Styrene Market Under Pressure
The styrene market in Europe has been facing significant challenges lately due to high production costs and sluggish consumer demand. According to data from Chemical Market Analytics, downstream operating rates across the styrene derivatives chain in Europe hover around 60-65%.
Overall, the planned restart of BASF’s styrene monomer production unit is eagerly awaited by the industry. The outcome of this restart will provide valuable insights into the direction of the European styrene market.