13 December 2012 21:35 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Mexico’s polystyrene (PS) prices are poised to finish the year unchanged in December amid slow demand, seller and buyer sources said on Thursday.
Although initially there were some initiatives to increase prices, those were quickly diffused by a marked slowdown in demand, buyers said.
Transformers in Mexico are competing hard for a handful of projects that has forced them to trim prices to nearly break-even point.
The government transition has delayed many of the “social interest” projects it sponsors.
Fortunately for producers, the lull in demand comes at a time when raw material prices are not increasing.
US December styrene contracts will likely stay flat or decline, based on a lack of producer price increases, traders said.
Although US November styrene contracts are still being settled this week, producers have confirmed that they have not issued any price increases for December styrene contracts.
The producers’ decision to keep stable styrene prices came despite a December record high feedstock benzene settlement at $4.93/gal ($1,476/tonne, €1,122/tonne).
Resirene, Mexico’s largest PS producer, decided early in December that current demand would not support price increases this month, and settled for a rollover.
November was also a slow month. Producers sought to increase prices for all grades of PS by 7 cents/lb in November, but only 3-4 cents/lb took hold on that month.
Current PS prices in Mexico are at $1,840-1,887/tonne FOT (free on truck) for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS), while high impact polystyrene (HIPS) prices are at $2,128-2,175/tonne FOT, according to ICIS data.
($1 = €0.76)
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