16 February 2012 23:25 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) prices rose by 5 and 7 cents/lb ($110 and $154/tonne, €85 and €119/tonne) for February, as producers were able to fully implement price increases based on higher feedstock costs, sources said on Thursday.
Prices for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) increased by 5 cents/lb, while prices for high impact polystyrene (HIPS) increased by 7 cents/lb, sources said.
The increases are based on rising benzene prices, which settled up by 50 cents/lb in February to $4.20/gal.
The extra 2 cents/lb for HIPS was based on higher prices for polybutadiene rubber, sources said.
While buyers were not happy with the increase – the second in two months – a producer said there was not much resistance because it was based purely on feedstock costs.
"This is not a margin thing," the producer said. "It's really about trying to recover our costs."
Prices are following the same trend as in 2011, when price increases were implemented during the first two months of the year.
However, buyers said it is never easy to pass on increases to downstream customers.
"It takes time to push it through, and right now, we haven't done it," the buyer said.
With the increase, US PS contract prices for February are 89-92 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for bulk GPPS and at 98-101 cents/lb DEL for bulk HIPS, as assessed by ICIS.
Major North American PS producers include Americas Styrenics, INEOS Styrenics, Total Petrochemicals and Resirene.
($1 = €0.77)
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