19 December 2012 16:33 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) producer Americas Styrenics will nominate an increase of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) for all grades of the resin, effective on 1 January, sources said on Wednesday.
At least one other US producer was expected to make a similar announcement, sources said.
The proposed increase is based on high benzene costs, which have continued to rise after December's record contract settlement of $4.93/gal. With spot benzene trading well above $5/gal in recent weeks and ongoing supply concerns, some market participants expect benzene to set a new record in January.
After an extended period of high prices, buyers had been hoping for a price decrease in the first quarter of 2013. However, producers said the proposed increases are necessary to keep up with feedstock costs.
While demand has been seasonally weak for December, one buyer said it may try to build up some additional inventory ahead of the proposed price increase.
Current US PS prices are assessed at 99-103 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and 109-113 cents/lb for high impact polystyrene (HIPS).
($1 = €0.76)
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