US January PS prices rise with feedstock costs

19 January 2012 16:57  [Source: ICIS news]

Polystyrene is used in packaging applicationsHOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) January contract prices rose by an average of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne, €120/tonne) based on higher feedstock benzene and butadiene (BD) costs, sources said on Thursday. 

Producers had initially sought increases of between 56 cents/lb, but increased those nominations to 78 cents/lb, depending on the grade. The increases are based in large part on rising benzene prices, which settled up 70 cents/gal for the month of January to $3.70/gal.

While buyers were unhappy with the size of the increase, most saw no room for negotiation, sources said.

"It's horrible," said a buyer about the increase. "But based on the [feedstock] numbers, it makes sense."

With the increase, US PS contract prices for January were at 8487 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for bulk general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and at 9194 cents/lb DEL for bulk high impact polystyrene (HIPS), as assessed by ICIS.

Prices are expected to rise even higher in February, with at least two US producers announcing increases of 5 cents/lb for GPPS and 7 cents/lb for HIPS, effective 1 February,  sources said.

Other producers are expected to follow with similar increases.

Major North American PS producers include Americas Styrenics, Ineos Styrenics, Total Petrochemicals and Resirene.

($1 = €0.78)

For more on polystyrene visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Michelle Klump
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