15 May 2008 05:12 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian polystyrene (PS) has touched an 18-year high of $1,550/tonne on record prices of crude and feedstock styrene monomer (SM), according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
General-purpose (GP) PS was currently pegged at $1,550/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Hong Kong. The highest average price for GPPS recorded previously was $1,530/tonne in May 1995.
"Demand is slow and no significant improvement is expected until the third quarter," said a trader in Hong Kong.
Recession fears in the US had limited orders of end products to Asian moulders, while efforts by the Chinese government to cool its red-hot economy via credit control had curbed manufacturing activities in Asia’s largest factory.
PS producers in the region were mostly operating below optimum levels, due to slow buyer offtakes and poor selling margins.
The recent massive earthquake in Sichuan province had limited impact on the Chinese PS market. "The area around the province has no PS plants with only several small sales offices for resins temporarily closed," said a trader.
Major PS manufactures in Asia include Chimei Corp, Formosa Chemical and Fibre Corp, Dow Chemical, Denki Kagaku, Kumho Petrochemical and Shanghai Secco Petrochemical.
For more on PS, SM visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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