01 September 2010 16:33 [Source: ICIS news]
“The styrene contract is up by €33/tonne from August to September, so we will target €85/tonne for PS,” said the source.
Other sources said the actual increase in the September styrene contract price could be slightly lower than €33/tonne, depending on how the increase was calculated.
However, sources added it was clear that this month’s styrene contract has been settled higher than in August, and BASF intended to increase the spread between styrene and PS.
A third European September styrene barge contract was agreed on Wednesday at €992/tonne, up €30/tonne from the previous month.
An initial September styrene barge contract was agreed on 31 August between one pair of settlers at €1,033tonne, up €38/tonne from August.
A second European September styrene barge contract was agreed earlier on Wednesday at €1,006/tonne, up by €31/tonne from the previous month. The same producer then later confirmed that it had settled September at €1,006/tonne with another consumer, bringing the total number of barge settlements this month to four.
Producers said there had been strong PS demand in August and they reported good volumes for September.
Availability was affected by BASF’s planned maintenance shutdown at its site at ?xml:namespace>
The European PS market was balanced following several permanent capacity closures in 2009, as producers addressed the oversupply that mainly came about as a result of technology changes.
In 2010, the upturn in the construction sector boosted GPPS volumes as expanded PS (XPS) volumes rose. XPS is used in insulation.
PS buyers said they are not convinced that they will have to pay increases as high as €85/tonne in September, but they acknowledged that PS availability has been an issue in recent weeks.
“We might have to pay more next month, but I can’t see why [producers] should improve their margins above and beyond the styrene increase. Let’s wait and see,” said a buyer.
PS pricing in
PS is used extensively in the packaging and household sectors.
PS producers in
(€1 = $0.79)
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