European EPS demand grows on price drop

11 October 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices settled down on Friday by €50-60/tonne ($68-81/tonne) in October from an all-time record high in September, bolstering demand. 

EPS prices fell following a drop in the October price of feedstock styrene. The European October styrene barge contract was agreed at €1,450/tonne FOB (free on board) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), a €92/tonne decrease from the previous month.

The EPS price drop did not match the feedstock price drop primarily due to EPS producers who sought to bolster their thin margins after several months of feedstock price hikes that sapped profitability.

Furthermore, the EPS price is being supported by improved demand, particularly from the construction industry, which players say has been supported by economic policy in the UK and glimmers of economic recovery in Germany and France.

Despite the bullishness, market players cautioned that the demand levels are still below 2012 levels, which are widely regarded as low.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Iain Packham

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