AFPM ’13: Latin American PS will unlikely rise in April

22 March 2013 23:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) demand in Latin America has been mixed, with different circumstances in each country, but few see another price increase in store for April, sources said during the week heading into the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) International Petrochemical Conference in San Antonio.

Feedstock performance will likely be the key factor to define the fate of PS markets in April.

With the exception of Argentina and Brazil, where price increases are still being pushed, PS prices have been flat in March everywhere else.

Demand has been particularly weak in Mexico – a country that has experienced two consecutive months of soft PS demand.

Prices have also been flat in Chile and Colombia, where demand remains soft.

In Venezuela, PS prices have skyrocketed again in March after the currency devaluation in February.

The March increases are intended to compensate for the currency devaluation and also for higher feedstock costs.

However, PS prices in Venezuela are almost twice the prices seen in international markets. Local buyers have no better alternatives, because permits for imports of PS are rarely granted.

The death of President Hugo Chavez has added uncertainty, but will not change the status of PS markets in the short term.

The AFPM conference begins on Sunday and lasts through Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas.

By: George Martin
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