18 August 2011 21:21 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Argentina polystyrene (PS) producer Petrobras Energia announced a 7% price increase for all grades of PS effective on 22 August, market sources said on Thursday.
Prices had rolled over in July, and the decline of crude oil prices at the beginning of August had the potential to drive down PS prices.
However, benzene spot prices have recovered after the initial dip, and are hovering around the August benzene settlement level of $4.13/gal.
Imported product brought into the country after a long labour conflict will also be affected by the measure, but the increase will be lower, as this product was initially more expensive than domestic material.
Current PS prices in Argentina are at $2,080-2,202/tonne (€1,435-1,519/tonne) for general purpose PS (GPPS) and in the range of $2,202-2,347/tonne for high impact PS (HIPS).
Buyer sources acknowledged receiving notification of the increase. Viable alternatives were hard to find, they said, considering that Argentina has steep import tariffs for plastic resins.
Production was normal in the country and the market was well-supplied. Inventories have caught up during the winter months, and this has diminished the need for imports, sources said.
($1 = €0.69)
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