US EPS producers seek August increases on benzene

16 July 2012 22:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--At least two US expandable polystyrene (EPS) producers announced increases of 7 and 8 cents/lb ($154 and $176/tonne, €127 and €145/tonne) for all grades of EPS for August, based on higher feedstock benzene prices, sources said on Monday.

NOVA Chemicals announced an 8-cent/lb price increase for all grades of EPS for 1 August. BASF was heard to have announced a 7-cent/lb increase for all grades of EPS for August, but the effective date could not be confirmed.

Mexico producer Polioles previously announced a 7-cent/lb increase effective 1 August.

"This EPS resin price increase is necessitated by the unprecedented upward price movement in benzene, the main raw material utilized in the production of styrene monomer (SM)," Nova wrote in a 16 July letter, obtained by ICIS. "The July spot price for benzene surpassed previous all-time high levels on very short supply."

By the end of last week, US spot benzene prices were heard in the range of $5.20-5.35/gal, on average, nearly $1/gal higher than the $4.30/gal July contract settlement for benzene. While spot prices fell slightly on Monday to $5.05-5.30/gal, sources said they do not expect prices to fall below $5/gal in time for August contract settlements.

The price increase proposals are expected to improve demand in the short-term, as buyers attempt to stockpile inventories ahead of the price increase, sources said. However, producers said pre-purchases would be difficult, because availability is expected to be limited.

Current US EPS spot prices are assessed by ICIS at 94-99 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block EPS material and 92-97 cents/lb DEL for package material.


By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index