Styrolution declares FM on N America PS business for August

02 August 2012 22:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Styrolution said on Thursday it has declared force majeure on polystyrene (PS) in North America for August, based on a force majeure on its styrene business.

The company declared force majeure on styrene this week following the shutdown of its 455,000 tonne/year Sarnia styrene plant in Canada.

The plant was shut down on 27 July because of a crack in a heat exchanger. The company said it will remain down until the end of October for a scheduled turnaround.

Styrolution's 485,000 tonne/year Texas City styrene plant in Texas also remains down. The Texas City plant went down in early June and was expected to undergo four weeks of planned maintenance.

However, the company has delayed the start up of the Texas City plant and has not announced any plans as to when it may start up.

The company will put PS customers on an allocation of 80% during the month of August, a company official said.  

The force majeure will contribute to existing tightness in the PS market, sources said.

The supply tightness is expected to lend support to price increase proposals for August. Producers announced an increase of 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €180/tonne) for all grades of PS for 1 August. However, one source said at least one producer is offering a temporary rebate of 3 cents/lb, creating a net increase of 7 cents/lb for the month.

Current PS prices before any increase are at 87-91 cents/lb for bulk general-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and 97-101 cents/lb for bulk high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), as assessed by ICIS.

Major North American PS producers include Styrolution, Americas Styrenics, Total and Resirene.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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