Europe INEOS NOVA targets May PS hikes

30 April 2008 18:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--INEOS NOVA will attempt to increase May polystyrene (PS) prices by €30/tonne ($47/tonne), it said in a statement on Wednesday.

INEOS NOVA needed to restore an acceptable margin on its business as the cost of raw materials and utilities kept increasing, the producer said.

The company also said it would attempt to increase the premium on high impact polystyrenes (HIPS) versus general purpose polystyrenes (GPPS) by €10/tonne effective on Thursday, 1 May, aiming at a €40/tonne hike on HIPS grades.

The move for higher HIPS prices was based on stronger butadiene prices.

A first May barge styrene contract was settled on Wednesday, up €25/tonne on April on the back of a similar increase in benzene, a European consumer reported.

“PS prices will obviously be up for May, but we certainly won’t be going any higher than the styrene hike,” said a large PS buyer.

Dow Chemical had already announced a €45-55/tonne increase for its May PS.

April PS margins reversed the downward trend they had been following for several months, in spite of the fact that PS prices dropped this month, but producers complained that they were still unsustainable at current levels.

GPPS distribution prices were at €1,230-1,240/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), but business was thin as most April business was settled and May discussions had not yet begun.

PS production was estimated to be running at 80% of capacity in Europe as supply had yet again begun to outstrip demand. In 2006, up to 13% of installed PS capacity was taken out in Europe due to oversupply.

European PS producers include BASF, Total Petrochemicals, Polimeri Europa and Dow.

($1 = €0.64)



By: Linda Naylor
+44 20 8652 3214

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