Europe PS output cut by 350,000 t/yr since 2005

09 November 2006 18:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Polystyrene (PS) capacity has been cut back by 350,000 tonnes/year since the end of 2005, starting with Dow’s closure of its 60,000 tonnes/year in Barry, south Wales in the UK.


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 Tarragona, Spain, would not be coming back on stream after a recent shutdown.


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.

By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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