NewsFlashBASF warns on PS availability after styrene plant outage

06 January 2006 11:58  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF reported on Friday concerns over polystyrene (PS) availability due to the outage of its styrene monomer (SM) unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The 510,000 tonne/year styrene unit went down on 23 December and is expected to remain out of commission for several weeks.

More minor technical issues with the company’s general purpose polystyrene (GP PS) line in Antwerp, Belgium, have compounded the problem, a company source reported on Friday.

It is the difficulty with styrene monomer deliveries into Ludwigshafen which pose the greatest difficulty, however, the source added. Low water levels on the River Rhine mean that barges cannot be fully loaded, leading to a shortfall in styrene for PS production at BASF in Germany.

Styrene monomer prices have surged on the back of the BASF monomer outage and rising naphtha costs. Spot styrene has risen by $80/tonne since the end of December and now stands at $990/tonne.

PS producers have announced Euro80-100/tonne price increases for January PS.  Spot prices have already risen by about Euro50/tonne, bringing GP PS prices up towards Euro1,000/tonne FD NWE (free delivered Northwest Europe).

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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