Asia PS/EPS sellers lift offers by $30-50/t on buoyant SM prices

11 January 2012 09:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Offers for polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Asia have increased this week by $30-50/tonne (€23-39/tonne) on the back of rising values of feedstock styrene monomer (SM), market sources said on Wednesday.

PS offers were at $1,500/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China and higher this week, up from around $1,450/tonne CFR China in late December, while EPS quotes were at $1,600/tonne CFR China from $1,550-1,570/tonne CFR China last week, they said.

Spot prices of feedstock SM rose to $1,430/tonne CFR China for March cargoes this week, after breaking the $1,400/tonne CFR China level on 5 January, market sources said.

“Some sporadic [PS/EPS] deals were sealed at the higher level but overall demand is weak ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays,” said a producer in Taiwan.

Most buyers have sufficient resins to tide them over the holidays in late January, while some aired concerns over their inability to pass on the high resin prices.

“With the prevailing economic weakness in the eurozone and the US, it will be difficult to increase prices of end products, so some moulders in China are resisting the rising resin costs,” said a trader in Hong Kong.

While a number of suppliers are optimistic that demand from China would improve from February after the holidays, others concede that a significant pick-up usually takes place in April, when manufacturers ramp up production of finished goods.

PS is used in the manufacture of disposable utensils, toys and consumer electronics, while EPS is a foam plastics used for packaging, as well as for insulation panels in buildings and roads.

($1 = €0.78)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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