20 July 2012 17:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Petrobras Energia, Argentina’s main polystyrene (PS) producer, plans to increase prices for all grades of the resin by 5%, effective on 1 August, a company source said on Friday.
Prices have been stable in Argentina since March, when the local producer increased prices by 7%.
Benzene prices at record levels in benchmark US markets were cited as the main justification for the measure.
Styrene monomer (SM) prices have also increased, although not as much as benzene’s.
PS prices are headed up in many other countries and the increases are steep, up to 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €178/tonne).
Local production was described as normal at the 66,000 tonne/year PS plant located in Zarate, near Buenos Aires.
Demand is strong, within normal patterns for this time of the year.
Buyers have not had much of a reaction to the news. They also have few alternatives in imports, given that only product from Brazil is entering the country through hard-to-get import permits.
July PS prices in Argentina are in the range of $2,177-2,351/tonne DEL (delivered) for crystal grade, while high-impact PS (HIPS) prices were at $2,305-2,507/tonne, based on ICIS data.
($1 = €0.81)
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