19 January 2012 16:57 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (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 5–6 cents/lb, but increased those nominations to 7–8 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 84–87 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for bulk general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and at 91–94 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)
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