16 March 2011 21:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) March price increases have been postponed until April because of a rapid drop in the feedstock benzene spot market, buyers said on Wednesday.
The 3 cent/lb ($66/tonne, €47/tonne) March price increase proposals were issued in response to continued escalation of raw materials costs, a producer said.
Feedstock benzene costs have dropped by more than 40 cents/gal since the PS increase announcements were made in February.
March spot benzene bid and offers were at $3.95-4.00/gal FOB (free on board) USG (US Gulf) around midday 16 March.
Resin buyers said they were not certain that PS producers would renew their push for the increase in April.
PS demand has dropped off since the second week of March, but a rebound is likely in April as seasonal demand boosts sales, a producer said.
The resin goes into many disposable items, such as cups and picnic tableware, that are consumed in larger amounts during the summer months.
Despite the apparent slowdown in demand this month, buyers and sellers said supply remained balanced, with relatively light spot availability.
Bulk truck deliveries of prime general purpose PS (GPPS) were at 95-98 cents/lb as assessed by ICIS.
Railcars of good off grade material were heard offered at 80-81 cents/lb DEL, with deals in the upper 70s cents/lb.
Major US PS producers include Total Petrochemicals, INEOS Styrenics and Americas Styrenics.
($1 = €0.71)
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