China caps SM, EPS prices for quake relief effort

02 June 2008 11:26  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Prices of materials to be used in the rebuilding of more than 1m temporary houses in China’s earthquake-hit Sichuan province will be capped at or below the levels of when the disaster occurred on 12 May, market sources said on Monday.


Prices of styrene monomer (SM) and block flame-retardant expandable polystyrene (EPS) have since risen by more than yuan (CNY) 1,000/tonne ($144/tonne) to around CNY13,400-13,500/tonne ex-tank for SM and to CNY15,300/tonne EXW (ex-warehouse) for EPS, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.


Domestic prices of SM and EPS have surged over the past two weeks on news that the building of temporary houses in the worst-hit southwestern Sichuan province required about 100,000 tonnes of material.  


“The affected players would probably need several days to adopt the pricing of early May,” said a trader in eastern China.


“Sinopec and China Petroleum Chemical Corporation were asked to commit some 56,000 tonnes of SM to EPS production [for the relief effort] in June and July,” said another trader in eastern China.


“With the spot availability in China for SM and EPS reduced in the near term, spot prices could continue to trend higher,” a trader said.


The official death toll from the quake had risen to 69,016, with 368,545 injured and 18,830 still missing.


($1 = CNY6.94)

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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