Brazil’s producers seek $300/tonne March PS hike on feedstock

02 March 2012 22:07  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazilian polystyrene (PS) producers are seeking a large price increase for March, at an average of reais (R) 300/tonne ($175/tonne, €131/tonne), producer sources said on Friday.

The announcement follows a R250/tonne increase implemented in February, down from initial proposals seeking as much as R400/tonne.

Prices of feedstocks benzene, styrene and butadiene (BD) have continued to increase with the help of surging crude oil prices.

One producer was seeking R250/tonne for all grades of PS in March, while another one has announced increases of as much as R350/tonne, warning customers that with the current cost push, prices will be even higher in April.

It was not clear if the market would absorb the March increase as announced, but producers appeared determined to implement the measure, considering that feedstock costs have continued to rise in March.

Demand from the refrigeration segment is thriving because of fiscal incentives for the purchase of appliances. The packaging segment is also showing strong demand, while other segments are steady, producers said.

Production was described as normal, with all plants running.

Supply of feedstock styrene remains tight, but not more than usual, a producer said.

Prior to the March increase, PS prices in Brazil were in the range of $2,314-2,432/tonne FOT (free on truck) for crystal grade, while high-impact PS (HIPS) prices were at $2,372-2,490/tonne, based on ICIS data.

($1 = €0.75)
($1 = R1.71)

By: George Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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