11 December 2012 21:57 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Mexico expandable polystyrene (EPS) producer has announced a price increase of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) for January, based on higher feedstock prices, sources said on Tuesday.
Polioles announced the 3 cent/lb increase, effective on 1 January, according to a copy of a customer letter obtained by ICIS. It was not clear if other producers had made a similar announcement.
The proposed increase is based on record high benzene prices, which hit $4.93/gal for December, sources said.
"The continuous price increase of benzene keeps impacting the cost of styrene monomer, a key feedstock used in the production of expandable polystyrene," the letter states. "This price increase is necessary to reflect the costs being incurred to produce our material."
Mexico producers last implemented a price increase of 2-3 cents/lb in October, before benzene prices hit the $4.90/gal level in November.
Producers have said the October increase was not enough to recover feedstock costs.
Buyers have said EPS prices are already high, and any additional price increases could result in more substitution of other materials, such as cardboard, for EPS.
Mexico EPS prices were assessed by ICIS at 117-121 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block material and 113-117 cents/lb DEL for package material.
Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Polioles and Polidesa.
($1 = €0.77)
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