13 May 2011 21:26 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Americas Styrenics has idled production at three polystyrene (PS) plants and declared force majeure (FM) because of delayed feedstock barge shipments along the rain-swollen Mississippi, Ohio and Illinois river systems, customers said on Friday.
In a letter to customers, the producer said the force majeure declaration covered all orders from its eastern PS plants for the entire month of May, and until further notice.
Americas Styrenics also told customers it does not have a specific timeline for resuming production, but the shipment delays will continue into June, when water levels are expected to fall along the Mississippi and its tributaries.
Americas Styrenics has two PS plants in Ohio, one in Illinois, one in Connecticut and a fifth in California.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
One large converter said it has received about half of its usual PS volume from Americas Styrenics early in the month, and no further shipments are expected in May.
Two other major PS producers, Total and INEOS Styrenics, are also facing supply supply constraints, buyers said.
INEOS Styrenics is scheduled to restart its Decatur, Alabama, plant within a few days, following an unplanned shutdown due to severe weather in late April.
The producer’s Joliet, Illinois, plant is expected to restart from a planned turnaround in 1-2 weeks, buyers said.
Total Petrochemicals, with its massive PS site on the lower Mississippi river, has not yet experienced any flood-related disruptions so far, buyers said.
However, there was concern that resin shipments could be disrupted if flooding damages rail lines.
Many companies that convert PS into disposable picnic ware and other seasonal products are now entering their peak season, sources said.
For more on Americas Styrenics's polystyrene plant, visit ICIS plants and projects
For more on polystyrene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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