31 January 2013 09:55 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Producers of polystyrene (PS) in the Middle East have announced an increase of $40/tonne (€30/tonne) in their offers for February-loading cargoes because of high feedstock costs, market sources said on Thursday.
Offers for general purpose PS (GPPS) to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region rose to $2,030-2,040/tonne DEL (delivered) GCC for February-shipping lots.
High impact PS (HIPS) cargoes loading in February were offered at $2,230-2,240/tonne DEL GCC.
To the East Mediterranean (East Med) region, GPPS offers stood at $2,050/tonne DEL East Med, while HIPS was offered at $2,270/tonne DEL East Med for February lots.
According to sources, offers to the East Med markets were met with subdued response amid the ongoing winter season because PS demand from the downstream food packaging sector is weak during this period.
Adding to that, the steep increase in offer prices discouraged a number of GCC-based buyers from booking bulk shipments.
Some GCC converters were heard to consider a switch to cheaper alternatives, such as polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), for applications such as disposable products, because of high PS prices.
PS prices have been on a steady uptrend since August 2012, tracking a surge in styrene monomer (SM) prices.
Consequently, most GCC PS converters were heard to be purchasing strictly on a need-to basis, instead of building up stocks.
Demand for PS in the Middle East is expected to pick up from February, ahead of the spring season.
($1 = €0.74)
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