27 June 2012 04:04 [Source: ICIS news]
By Clive Ong
“Feedstock styrene (SM) prices are stable at around $1,300/tonne [CFR (cost & freight)
In the week ended 22 June, EPS prices were assessed at $1,480-1,500/tonne CFR NE Asia, while feedstock SM was up by an average of $25/tonne week on week at $1,290-1,310/tonne CFR China, according to ICIS.
“With SM prices now firming, we have to increase resins prices to match the rising feedstock costs,” said another producer in
Early last week, EPS deals were concluded at around $1,500/tonne CFR NE Asia but prices have come off later in the week as buyers became hesitant to procure cargoes when US crude fell to $78/bbl levels, market sources said.
EPS suppliers are insisting on prices above $1,500/tonne CFR NE Asia to generate better margins.
Spot prices peaked in March this year at around $1,685/tonne CFR NE Asia before trending down to $1,500/tonne CFR NE Asia in June.
EPS is made into styrofoam, which is used in packaging a wide variety of items like food, toys and consumer electronics.
Indicating weak demand, the price premium being commanded by flame retardant (FR) EPS over packaging resins has shrunk to around $60/tonne in June from $70-80/tonne for the most part of the first half of 2012, market sources said.
Consumption of FR EPS in
Overall EPS demand in Asia is soft, with the exports sector of the key
Demand for the resins seasonally picks up during the third quarter – when
However, with the current global uncertainties, demand for EPS from the Chinese exports sector has not shown any significant improvements so far.
Consumption of FR EPS for construction has also slackened in
Operating rates at EPS facilities in
Major EPS producers include the Loyal Group, Ming Dih Group and Taita Chemicals of Taiwan and Wuxi Xingda Foam Plastics, Leasty Chemicals and Garson Chemicals of China.
($1 = €0.80)
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
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