Low water on Mississippi leads to eastern US GPPS force majeure

24 August 2012 17:30  [Source: ICIS news]

Mississippi riverHOUSTON (ICIS)--Americas Styrenics declared force majeure on general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) in the eastern half of the US, based on raw material delays caused by low-water in the Mississippi river system, sources said on Friday.

The company said it expects delays to continue until at least mid-September, according to a customer letter obtained by ICIS.

The drought this summer has lowered water levels severely on the upper Mississippi river, from the states of Illinois to Louisiana. An 11-mile (18 km) section of the river was closed last week because of low-water levels, but re-opened this week following emergency dredging.

The low water levels have delayed deliveries of styrene monomer to Americas Styrenics' plants in Ohio and Connecticut, sources said.

Americas Styrenics has a 73,000 tonne/year plant in Gales Ferry, Connecticut, an 85,000 tonne/year plant in Ironton, Ohio, and a 360,000 tonne/year plant in Marietta, Ohio.

Because of the force majeure, some buyers will not receive all of their orders, and others will be delayed, sources said. However, exact allocation levels were not certain, sources said.

The force majeure is contributing to existing tightness in the PS market. PS producer Styrolution declared force majeure on 2 August, based on a force majeure on its styrene business after the shutdown of its 455,000 tonne/year Sarnia styrene plant in Canada.

The company had put PS customers on an allocation of 80% during the month of August. However, one buyer said allocation levels had been increased to nearly 100%.

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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