US PS Sep prices steady as tight supply counters lower feedstocks

27 September 2012 23:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--September prices in the US polystyrene (PS) market were steady from August as tight supply counteracted lower feedstock costs, sources said on Thursday.

Buyers had been expecting some pricing relief in September after a 40 cent/gal drop in September benzene contracts.

However, suppliers pointed to higher ethylene costs and tight feedstock styrene monomer supplies as reasons why prices should be stable during the month.

Americas Styrenics and Styrolution continued allocations to customers in September after both companies declared force majeure on certain PS grades in August.

Buyers said the supply tightness was enough to keep prices stable during the month.

"I think they [suppliers] are holding on as long as they can to make some money," said one buyer, who said prices should have dropped in September.

While some sources said supply had returned to more normal levels toward the end of the month, some buyers said they did not get all of the material they asked for in September. Supply troubles were expected to be mostly resolved by October, sources said.

October price ideas were uncertain, with expectations for a higher benzene contract settlement, sources said.

US PS prices were assessed by ICIS at 94-98 cents/lb ($2,072-2,161 , €1,616-1,685/tonne) for bulk GPPS DEL (delivered) and 104-108 cents/lb for bulk HIPS DEL.

Major US PS producers include Americas Styrenics, Styrolution and Total Petrochemicals.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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