21 November 2013 20:11 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) contract prices fell on average by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) for all grades in November, based on a drop in feedstock benzene costs, sources said on Thursday.
The decrease immediately follows two consecutive months of increases, with a September increase of 3 cents/lb for general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and 1 cent/lb for high impact polystyrene (HIPS), as well as an October increase of 3 cents/lb for both grades.
While the October increase was considered a margin expansion move by producers, sources said the November decrease was based predominately on a 6% drop in feedstock benzene costs.
"We looked at our costs," said one producer, explaining the price drop.
The price decrease still helps to preserve some of the margin gain obtained by producers in October when they raised the price despite feedstock costs falling.
"We are still getting some margin," the producer said. "The industry needs it. There are so many things that come into play that are costs that have nothing to do with raw materials."
Sources said it was too early to tell what will happen with prices in December. Some sources had been predicting a rollover for the month. However, with benzene spot prices showing some strength, there is a possibility that producers could try to push for another increase.
After the decrease US November PS, contract prices as assessed by ICIS were at 101-103 cents/lb ($2,227-2,271/tonne) for bulk GPPS DEL (delivered) and 109-111 cents/lb ($2,403-2,447/tonne) for bulk HIPS DEL.
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