10 May 2013 09:37 [Source: ICB]
US polystyrene (PS) producers Total Petrochemicals and Styrolution joined Americas Styrenics in proposing a price increase for 1 May, sources said on 2 May.
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", in a 1 May customer letter.
Feedstock benzene prices settled at an increase of 11 cents/gal the week ended 3 May, which could help support a PS rise, sources said. However, some buyers said they do not believe the benzene increase is enough to support a 4 cent/lb hike in PS prices.
"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 by of a dam closure on the Illinois River, and some lingering flooding-related problems, sources said.
Any PS production limits will contribute to a tight supply situation, as supplier inventories are already quite low and demand is strengthening, sources said.
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