09 December 2013 16:20 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Mexico-based expandable polystyrene (EPS) producer announced a January price increase of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne, €64/tonne), based on higher feedstock prices, sources said on Monday.
Polioles announced the 4 cent/lb increase, effective on 1 January, according to a copy of a customer letter obtained by ICIS. It was not clear if other producers had made a similar announcement.
The proposed increase is based on a recent rise in styrene and benzene costs. Benzene contracts for December rose by 9% in a split settlement at $4.48-4.49/gal. Styrene prices for December are also expected to settle higher, with producers nominating increases of as much as 5 cents/lb.
"The price increase is necessary to reflect the costs being incurred to produce our material," the letter states.
So far, no price increase announcements have been heard from US producers, sources said. However, producers have said an increase may be necessary in January if benzene prices remain at high levels.
Seasonally weak demand has kept price levels from rising in December, sources said. However, demand is expected to begin to improve in January, with processor plants starting back up after the traditional holiday break, sources said.
Before any proposed increase, Mexico EPS prices were assessed by ICIS at 114.50-117.50 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block material and 110.50-113.50 cents/lb for package material.
Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Polioles and Polidesa.
($1 = €0.73)
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