European producers achieve €140-150/tonne Jan EPS price hikes

22 January 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European producers of expandable polystyrene (EPS) secured January price increases of €140-150/tonne ($197-211/tonne) based on rising feedstock styrene monomer (SM) costs, sources confirmed on Friday.

January EPS prices were assessed at €1,170-1,230/tonne FD (free delivered) Europe, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing. December EPS prices were €1,030-1,080/tonne.

Producers had originally spoken about hikes of €170-185/tonne when the January European styrene barge contract settled at €1,018/tonne, up €172/tonne from December.

Although producers scaled back their initial thoughts, most buyers said that they had little choice but to accept the increases that were finally imposed.

The protracted absence of profitable trading for EPS producers in Europe had meant that they had been unusually inflexible in their price proposals. 

“Producers said, ‘No discussion; you’re taking [the increase]’,” a large buyer of packaging-grade EPS said.  

Another buyer commented that it would be very difficult for buyers to pass on any of the increase.

“It is not so easy to discuss with customers,” he said.

Current demand was described by market players as low, but in line with seasonal norms for late January. A distributor said that processors were currently buying only what they required for now and not for anticipated consumption in February.

European EPS producers include BASF, Sunpor, Polimeri, Sunde, StyroChem and Synthos.

($1 = €0.71)

For more on EPS visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Peter Gerrard
+44 208 652 3214

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