Mexico’s January PS price hikes slowly go through

10 January 2012 22:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) producers in Mexico are implementing the announced January price increases for all grades despite limited demand so far this month, buyers and sellers said on Tuesday.

At least five cents/lb ($110/tonne, €86/tonne) were being implemented amid low liquidity caused by December pre-buying, said a trader who sells domestic and imported product.

Increases nominated for January ranged from 6­–11 cents/lb FOT (free on truck) for all grades.

Producers justified the hike by citing growing volatility in prices for crude oil and basic petrochemicals, particularly benzene and styrene monomer (SM).

Crude oil prices have been rising steadily above $100/bbl in recent days. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for February rose by 93 cents to reach $102.24/bbl.

A couple of SM producers in benchmark US markets confirmed that they will be increasing January contract prices by 8 cents/lb, because of a 70 cent/gal increase in the January feedstock benzene contract.

Many buyers in Mexico covered their January PS needs in December and will see their first price increase in February.

Prior to the increase, PS prices in Mexico were $1,729-1,769/tonne FOT for crystal grade and $1,928-2015/tonne FOT for high-impact PS (HIPS), based on ICIS data.

The main PS producers in Mexico are Resirene, Styrolution Mexicana and Idesa.

($1 = €0.78)

For more on polystyrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: George Martin
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