Asia EPS sellers keep offers at about $1,740/tonne in quiet trade

03 October 2012 08:56  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian suppliers of expandable polystyrene (EPS) have mostly kept offers unchanged this week amid the Chinese National Day holidays, market sources said on Wednesday.

Producers in Taiwan quoted offers at the same levels as last week’s at $1,730/tonne (€1,332) FOB (free on board) or $1,740/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE Asia.

“Our offers are unchanged as feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prices are stable,” said a producer in Taiwan.

SM prices hovered in the low-to-mid $1,500/tonne CFR China levels amid thin trade.

With market players in China, Hong Kong and South Korea away on holidays in the early part of this week, trade was at a virtual standstill.

“We did not fix any deals so far this week as the markets are quiet,” said another producer in Taiwan.

Suppliers expect demand in the region to remain weak after the holidays as the third-quarter Chinese manufacturing season has started to wind down.

Also, the persistently poor global economic backdrop, despite the stimulus programme recently announced by the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, is expected to continue dampening demand for Asian-made goods.

“With the Chinese exports of finished goods staying weak, consumption of EPS will likely be lacklustre,” said a Taiwanese producer.

Meanwhile, the Chinese construction sector will enter a lull season towards the end of the year, as winter sets in, and will lead to reduced demand for EPS used as insulation panels in roads and buildings.

Major EPS makers include the Loyal Group, Ming Dih Group and Taita Chemical of Taiwan, as well as the Xingda Group, Leasty Chemical and Garson Chemicals in China.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Clive Ong
+65 6780 4359

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