09 November 2006 18:01 [Source: ICIS news]
This was been followed by a 40,000 tonnes/year closure of PS capacity by Total in Gonfreville and the largest closure, that of Nova Innovene’s 180,000 tonnes/year plant in the UK, finally shut down at the end of last month.
The latest announcement of a closure was from BASF who said that their 70,000 tonnes/year high impact (HIPS) line in
Some observers had estimated the oversupply in the European PS market at something approaching 600,000 tonnes/year.
“While these closures do not bring the market back into balance, they go a long way to help, and instead of running at 75-80% of capacity, the industry can now produce at 90%,” a major PS producer commented on Thursday.
Margins in the PS market have been very poor, and PS producers have taken extreme measures to stop the rot.
PS prices remained flat in November, however, with even some downward pressure after slight erosion in November styrene. Net spot PS prices were reported at €1,250/tonne free delivered (FD) Northwest Europe (NWE), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
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