30 April 2013 20:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) producer Americas Styrenics proposed a 4 cent/lb ($88/tonne, €67/tonne) price increase for all grades of PS, effective on 1 May, sources said on Tuesday.
The increase is based on "recent changes in chemical feedstock, operating and logistic costs", according to a copy of a 29 April customer letter obtained by ICIS.
Feedstock benzene prices settled at an increase of 11 cents/gal on Tuesday, which is one factor that could help support a price increase, sources said.
However, some market participants have said they did not expect prices would increase in May, unless benzene increased by more than 15 cents/gal.
Another factor that could support a price increase is tightening supply resulting from the limiting of some PS production in the midwest, sources said.
The Marseilles Lock and Dam, located on the Illinois river in Marseilles, Illinois, remains closed because of damage caused by a barge accident on 18 April during a period of heavy flooding. There are two PS plants located upstream from the Marseilles dam, including Styrolution's 400,000 tonne/year plant in Joliet, Illinois, and Americas Styrenics 125,000 tonne/year plant in Joliet.
The damage is keeping barges of feedstock styrene from being able to move up river to the PS plants, sources said. Styrolution was heard to have limited production at its Joliet plant, based on difficulty obtaining styrene, sources said. It was not clear whether Americas Styrenics's plant in Joliet was also limiting production.
Any extended production limitations aer expected to create tight supply as producer inventories are already somewhat low, and demand is strengthening, sources said.
Other PS producers were expected to announce a similar price increase for May polystyrene.($1 = €0.76)
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