US PS producers push for 2, 4-cent/lb March hikes on feedstocks

23 February 2012 20:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two US polystyrene (PS) producers are seeking price hikes of 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and 4 cents/lb for high impact polystyrene (HIPS) effective on 1 March, based on rising feedstock costs, sources said on Thursday.

Americas Styrenics and Styrolution both nominated the increases this week, sources said, adding that other producers are expected to follow with similar price increase nominations.

The proposed increases are based on rising benzene, ethylene and butadiene (BD) costs, sources said.

US benzene spot prices were discussed as high as $4.30/gal this week, representing a 10 cent/gal increase over February contract levels. With crude oil prices on the rise, sources said benzene could go even higher. 

US BD producers have nominated increases of 25 cents/lb and 32 cents/lb for March. BD is used in the production of HIPS.

If implemented, the proposed price hike would be the third consecutive monthly increase in the PS market. While buyers are not happy with the increase, many agree that costs are on the rise.

"It depends on where benzene and ethylene end up," said one buyer of the increase. "But it appears legitimate."

US PS prices are 89-92 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for bulk GPPS and at 98-101 cents/lb DEL for bulk HIPS, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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