12 July 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Prices in the European expandable polystyrene (EPS) market for July have largely settled at a rollover from June, sources on both sides of the market said on Friday.
Standard grade EPS is assessed by ICIS at €1,640-1,690/tonne FD (free delivered), and fire retardant grade material currently commands a premium of €30/tonne ($39/tonne) above that.
Some contracts are still to be settled but the majority are said to have been finalised.
Producers had hoped to achieve some increase this month as it is the high season for consumption in the insulation sector, and the industry is in need of an improvement to margins that have remained very thin for many months.
Continuing lacklustre demand was cited as the main reason why sellers have not been able to secure a general price rise.
The July styrene monomer settlement, with a reduction of just €4/tonne, gave little direction to price movement in the EPS market. Instead, the lack of construction projects, especially in the public sector because of the crisis in government finances across much of Europe, has dampened suppliers' ability to achieve a rise.
There have been some variations though. One producer said on Friday that it had obtained results that varied between a rollover and increases of up to €20/tonne.
Others said that the overall result was a rollover, and a trader acknowledged that some slight increments were seen but also some very small reductions.
($1 = €0.76)
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