India PS producers raise list prices on higher SM costs

02 August 2013 13:09  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) producers in India increased their list prices for August shipments by Indian rupee (Rs) 3.00-5.00/kg following a continued firmness in feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prices despite weak demand, market sources said on Friday.

Indian PS makers raised their list prices for general purpose (GPPS) lots to Rs130.00/kg ($2.15/kg) EXW (ex-works) from a previous Rs125.00/kg EXW for July cargoes, sources added.

High impact PS (HIPS) grade prices were raised to Rs134.00/kg EXW, up from Rs131.00/kg EXW in July, sources said.

Producers said they had to bring about an increase in their prices despite weak demand across the country because of high SM costs.

SM prices have been on a high since early 2013, and in the recent weeks have risen to above $1,800/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China, according to ICIS data.

The increase in GPPS prices was steeper than HIPS, as the SM content in GPPS is higher. The recent fall in rubber prices capped the increase in HIPS prices, market sources said. HIPS is a blend of styrene and rubber.

Demand in India has been largely weak through July on account of the ongoing monsoon season, a traditional period of lull demand for most polymers. However, high SM prices since early this year has kept a number of buyers at the sidelines.

Furthermore, a sharp depreciation in the Indian rupee against the US dollar and an increase in the import duties further impacted demand for imports to the region.

Consequently, Singapore-origin August-shipping cargoes offered at $2,000/tonne CFR India (GPPS) and $2,040/tonne CFR India (HIPS) found muted response from Indian importers.

Although demand in India is expected to improve in September when the monsoon ends, the near-term outlook for PS remains largely uncertain, as most producers and converters are unsure of the near-term trend in SM prices.

In neighbouring Pakistan, the chief regional producer raised its list prices for August shipments by Pakistan rupee (PRs) 4.00-5.00/kg EXW, following high SM costs, according to a source close to the company.

According to the source, the producer’s offers for August-shipping GPPS cargoes were at PRs220.00/kg ($2.16/kg) EXW, up from PRs 215.00/kg EXW in the second half of July.

The producer offered August loading HIPS lots also at PRs220.00/kg EXW, up from PRs216.00/kg EXW in July, the source said.

The producer had previously hiked its list prices on 15 July, by PRs10.00/kg for GPPS and PRs6.00/kg for HIPS lots following rising SM prices.

Demand in the country is also reported to be largely unclear, marred by much uncertainty on the SM prices.

($1 = Rs60.57, $1 = PRs101.80)

By: Veena Pathare
+65 6780 4327

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