09 June 2008 04:50 [Source: ICIS news]
By Clive Ong
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia styrenic plastics like polystyrene (PS) and expandable PS (EPS) have touched another record high amid buoyant feedstock styrene monomer (SM) values, traders and producers said on Monday.
“The sharp rise in SM raw material prices was mainly due to the unexpected demand for EPS from the devastating earthquake in ?xml:namespace>
The subsequent decision by the Chinese government to build more than a million temporary houses in the quake zone by September boosted prices of both EPS and SM.
Market participants estimated the amount of EPS needed for this effort at around 100,000 tonnes.
Spot values of EPS have risen by more than 15% within a month to around $1,800-1,830/tonne (€1,134-1,153/tonne) CFR (cost and freight)
Meanwhile, SM values rose more than 10% in a month to reach $1,665-1,675/tonne CFR China as demand for the chemical spiked on urgent requirement for EPS resins.
Sharply higher SM prices since first-half May also boosted prices of other styrenics like PS, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), propelling them to record price levels.
PS prices shot up more than $150/tonne from a month back to $1,700-1,720/tonne CFR China for the general purpose grade and to around $1,770-1,800/tonne CFR China for the high-impact grade, and are now at an 18-year high.
ABS prices rose sharply to $2,040-2,090/tonne CFR China, up by some $200/tonne from first half of May to reach a 13-year high.
“ABS prices were not only affected by SM but also by acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene (BD) prices which had surged unabated,” said a producer in
ACN and BD numbers had breached $2,100/tonne CFR NE Asia in recent weeks, prompting ABS suppliers to implement successive price hikes.
($1 = €0.63)
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