17 January 2012 22:31 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Venezuela-based Estizulia's polystyrene (PS) plant has resumed operations after a turnaround that started in early December, a company source said on Tuesday.
The plant was still undergoing the last steps of the stabilisation process, but it was already producing on-spec material, the source said.
The start-up procedures commenced last week after completion of annual maintenance that usually takes place in December, when demand slows down for the holidays.
The first two weeks of January also are used by some companies to provide collective vacations to personnel while maintenance is performed in the facilities.
Currently, there are no shortages of raw materials. PS inventories are adequate for crystal grade and tight for HIPS, a grade that has experienced greater demand lately because of shortages of polypropylene (PP) in Venezuela.
Venezuela’s PS prices were unchanged in January and remain the highest of the region, at almost twice the values seen in international markets.
Crystal grade sells in Venezuela in the range of $3,490-3,605/tonne (€2,757-2,848/tonne) FOT (free on truck) while high impact PS (HIPS) sells at $3,800-3,900/tonne FOT, based on ICIS data.
There was no insight into February price direction, but it was expected that the cost of raw materials would determine in about a week whether prices would change.
($1 = €0.79)
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