Nova to increase US EPS prices by 3 cents/lb in mid-September

29 August 2013 22:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Nova Chemicals will increase the selling price of its block expandable polystyrene (EPS) starting in mid-September, amid rising pressures in the key benzene feedstock value and due to seasonal strong demand related to construction, market sources said on Thursday.

The selling price of “modified, regular and cup grades” of EPS will go up by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne), according to a copy of a customer letter on Thursday that was obtained by ICIS. The increase is effective on 16 September.

The increase comes amid rising pressures on spot EPS prices coming from recent gains in the value of spot benzene, which is a feedstock.

Block EPS, which is used as insulation in construction after it is modified with the addition of a flame retardant to make it more resistant to fire, normally sees greater demand during the warmer months of the year due to increased construction activity, particularly in the north of the US.

Sources on the buying side had said this week that construction activity may not be strong enough to justify raises as the industry remains weak compared with 2007 levels. While benzene prices have seen upward pressure, they are still low compared with 18 months ago, one source added. Several sources, however, agreed that continued strength in both benzene and styrene could push EPS prices higher.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Renzo Pipoli
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