Europe polystyrene prices heading upwards in June

14 June 2013 12:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European polystyrene (PS) prices are rising this month, with values assessed around €20/tonne ($27/tonne) higher than in May, industry sources said on Friday.

Sources debate about how successful PS producers will be in June, compared with their initial targets, and some buyers believe that suppliers will achieve an increase around that of the styrene monomer contract, which rose by €14/tonne for June.

They have already secured increases of at least €20-30/tonne, said producers, although plus €20-25/tonne is judged more representative by one major supplier.

“We initially nominated an increase of €30/tonne,” said a producer, “but we are confident of obtaining typically plus €20-25/tonne.”

The increase registered up to now represents a small improvement in producer margins and reflects a more balanced market than was the case before early this year.

Styrolution began a three-week maintenance shutdown of a high impact polystyrene (HIPS) line at its plant in Wingles, France, which has a total capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year including general purpose polystyrene (GPPS). This should not have tightened supply, however, as the shutdown was planned and stocks had been prepared for regular customers.

As PS prices resume their upward path, many buyers are protesting vehemently that the price level, already assessed by ICIS Pricing at €1,550-1,590/tonne FD before the latest round of increases, is crippling their businesses, especially compared with polypropylene (PP), currently estimated to be around €300/tonne cheaper than GPPS.

Producers, while recognising this problem, say they see good demand this month.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Peter Gerrard
+44 208 652 3214

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