FocusMiddle East PS may gain on better demand, rising SM values

15 July 2011 12:01  [Source: ICIS news]

Polystyrene is used in packaging applicationsSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of polystyrene (PS) in the Middle East may rise in the coming weeks after holding steady since the start of the month, in line with firmer feedstock costs and improved demand, industry sources said on Friday.

On Friday, PS prices were assessed steady at $1,580-1,620/tonne (€1,122-1,150/tonne) CFR East Mediterranean/GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) for general-purpose PS (GPPS) and $1,800-1,850/tonne CFR East Med/GCC for high-impact PS (HIPS).

End-user demand is likely to pick up over the coming weeks ahead of Ramadan in August and towards the end of the Muslim fasting month, traders said.

Meanwhile, a rebound in prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM) and firm values of co-feedstock polybutadiene rubber (BR) supported PS prices in the Middle East, according to market sources.

On 8 June, SM prices were assessed at an average of $1,455/tonne CFR China, up $70/tonne from the previous week, according to ICIS data.

Average prices of BR, on the other hand, were at $4,550/tonne CFR NE (northeast Asia) on 7 July, up $150/tonne from the previous week, ICIS data showed.

In addition, firmer Asian PS prices had given market players in the Middle East a vote of confidence that PS prices in the region will look to pick up in the coming weeks, market sources added.

A south Asia-based producer is waiting for Middle East prices to increase before making offers to the region, a source from the PS maker said.

Another producer in south Asia, meanwhile, has raised its PS offers into the Middle East. Its current offers are in the $1,600-1,650/tonne CFR GCC range for GPPS and $1,850-1,900/tonne CFR GCC for HIPS.

GPPS material is used in food packaging, such as food and dairy containers, closures, lids, vending cups, fast food containers and utensils. The HIPS material is used for domestic appliances, construction, electronics, furniture and toys. 

($1 = €0.71)

For more on polystyrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Gabriel Yip
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