16 August 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices have risen by around €50-55/tonne in August, market players confirmed on Friday.
The increase was partly in reaction to the €47/tonne hike in the styrene monomer barge contract price at the start of the month. A producer said on Friday the contract price is not the only indicator EPS producers need to rely on, but agreed that steeper raw material costs played a part in pushing up the EPS price in August.
Another reason for the increase is the persistent need for EPS suppliers to improve very thin margins. By expanding the spread between the monomer and the polymer this month, they have been able to effect a modest improvement. One large producer commented: "Yes, we can breathe again until next month."
A generally more positive view of the market has emerged in recent weeks, and this has contributed to the size of the rise in EPS prices. Sources on both sides of the market have observed a more encouraging picture for consumption. With demand having been restored to more normal volumes, it has been possible for suppliers to persuade their customers that a substantial rise in values was necessary.
Standard grade EPS is assessed by ICIS Pricing at €1,690-1,745/tonne FD NWE, with fire retardant grade commanding a €30/tonne premium above that range.
($1 = €0.75)
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