09 January 2009 00:18 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US polystyrene (PS) producers lowered prices by 8-9 cents/lb ($176-198/tonne or €130-147/tonne) at the beginning of January, reflecting lower production costs, buyers and sellers said on Thursday.
General purpose PS (GPPS) grades were off 8 cents/lb, and high impact PS (HIPS) grades were down 9 cents/lb.
The larger decrease for HIPS reflects the falling cost of feedstock butadiene rubber, a HIPS supplier said.
GPPS bulk pricing in the second half of December was 61-65 cents/lb ?xml:namespace>
The market was well balanced after producers reduced rates and thinned out inventories in the fourth quarter of 2008.
One seller said its January inventories were at an all-time low and that plants would continue at reduced rates until demand picked up.
A buyer said PS prices could drop further in February if crude oil and aromatics prices remain flat and demand does not pick up sharply.
However, the seller said aromatics inventories would likely tighten in late February and March, causing PS feedstock costs to increase.
($1 = €0.74)
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