14 December 2012 20:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--December prices in the US polystyrene (PS) market were flat on weak demand, which outweighed slightly higher feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.
With feedstock benzene prices settling higher by 3 cents/gal to $4.93/gal, producers agreed to hold PS prices flat, saying the movement was not enough to justify another increase.
Buyers and producers confirmed the price rollover.
"Demand is a little bit softer than forecasted," said one producer, who added that converters seem to be destocking a little more than usual.
Buyers agreed they were trying not to build any inventory because they do not want to be stuck with high-priced material.
There was some talk that prices could increase in January, with spot benzene continuing to trade above $5/gal.
While no price increase announcements were heard, sources speculated that a nomination could be made soon for either an early or mid-January increase.
One buyer said that if it appears that prices will rise, it will consider buying a few extra cars this month in advance of an increase.
US PS prices were assessed by ICIS at 99-103 cents/lb for bulk GPPS DEL (delivered) and 109-113 cents/lb for bulk HIPS DEL.
Major US PS producers include Americas Styrenics, Styrolution and Total Petrochemicals.
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