19 April 2013 09:25 [Source: ICB]
US expandable polystyrene (EPS) spot prices dropped by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) for April, based on lower prices for feedstock benzene, sources said on 9 April.
The lower price, along with slightly improving demand, is starting to bring some buyers back to the market, according to some sources. "It's turning into a busy month," said one producer. "It's pretty on-par with where we were at about a year ago."
However, another producer and some buyers described demand as slightly below that of last year, adding that the expected boost from the construction sector has been late to arrive.
ASIA IMPORTS TOO HIGH
The price drop puts US prices lower on average than prices for Asian imports, sources said. Some west coast buyers said they were still seeing some slight advantage in purchasing Asian material, but freight costs have made Asian material too high to compete for most other regions, sources said.
US EPS prices were assessed by ICIS at 98-103 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block material and 96-101 cents/lb for package material.
Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Polioles and Polidesa.
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