31 May 2012 22:37 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The May price range in the US polystyrene (PS) market narrowed, as a few buyers saw general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) prices increase by 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne, €18/tonne), and most saw the market settle at a rollover, sources said on Thursday.
Prices for high impact polystyrene (HIPS) were steady with April levels, sources said.
Producers had announced increases of between 2-4 cents/lb for 1 May, based in part on May benzene prices. However, buyers pushed back, saying they saw little to justify an increase, particularly with other feedstocks, such as ethylene, falling in price.
In some cases, producers were able to take back a penny decrease that some buyers saw in April GPPS contract prices. But most of the market saw a rollover, producers said.
Demand for PS improved in May over April, with one producer suggesting the flat pricing contributed to more normal sales volumes.
Producers cautioned that the June decrease buyers had been expecting may not materialise, particularly given the volatility in benzene prices.
With the narrower range, US PS prices were assessed by ICIS at 89-92 cents/lb for bulk GPPS DEL (delivered) and 100-103 cents/lb for bulk HIPS DEL.
Major US PS producers include Americas Styrenics, Styrolution and Total Petrochemicals.
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