Two more US PS producers announce May price increases

02 May 2013 16:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene producers Total Petrochemicals and Styrolution joined Americas Styrenics this week in proposing a price increase for 1 May, sources said on Thursday.

Styrolution matched the proposal from Americas Styrenics for a 4 cent/lb ($88/tonne, €67/tonne) price hike for all grades of PS, effective on 1 May, sources said.

Total announced a 2 cent/lb increase for 1 May and an additional 2 cent/lb increase for 1 June, based on "rising feedstock costs coupled with increases in logistics rates", according to a copy of a 1 May customer letter, obtained by ICIS.

Feedstock benzene prices settled at an increase of 11 cents/gal this week, which is one factor that could help support a price increase, sources said.

However, some buyers said they do not believe an 11 cents/gal increase in benzene is enough to support a 4 cent/lb increase.

"Four cents/lb is not justified," one buyer said. "They will be lucky if they get one cent in my mind."

Another factor that could support a price increase is the fact that some midwest PS plants have had to limit production because of difficulty obtaining feedstock styrene, sources said.

The styrene, which is typically moved by barge, is being delayed because of a dam closure on the Illinois River, and some lingering flooding-related problems, sources said.

Any limitation of PS production is expected to contribute to a tight supply situation, as supplier inventories are already somewhat low and demand is strengthening, sources said.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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