Asian resins to pressure prices in Latin America – trader

06 October 2011 23:05  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Asian resins are expected to become increasingly competitive in Latin America as low demand everywhere forces producers to pursue alternative markets, a trader said on the sidelines of the 17th annual Plastimagen exhibition and conference, which continued on Thursday in Mexico City.

In fact, Asian imports will pressure all resins in the Americas, including those from the US Gulf.

Already, resin prices have fallen in the US Gulf. For example, US polystyrene (PS) prices fell by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) in September because of cheaper feedstock and lower demand.

Prices for October could decline by another 6 cents/lb, the trader said.

However, to be competitive against Asian imports in Latin American markets, US PS prices would have to decline again in November, the trader said.

Such a trend of falling prices is running counter to markets in Brazil and Argentina, where there are initiatives to increase October prices.

Producers in Brazil are trying to make up for the sharp and sudden weakening of the real versus the US dollar.

In Argentina, producers are trying to recover margins that they lost because of government price controls.

In Mexico, such price increases would be unthinkable because of the country's stronger exposure to Asian and US competition. This is despite the peso weakening against the dollar.

($1 = €0.75)

For more on polystyrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: George Martin
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