02 January 2014 21:58 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) contract prices rose on average by 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne, €64/tonne) for all grades in December, based on a rise in feedstock benzene costs, sources said on Thursday.
The increase was based on higher benzene contract prices, which rose by 9% in December. One company said the increase was also related to difficulty obtaining styrene monomer because of logistics challenges.
The increase, which came during a traditionally slow demand season for PS, puts prices at their highest level for 2013.
“They got their four cents,” said one buyer, who had been hoping to negotiate for a lesser increase, based on the fact that producers expanded their margins by a few cents/lb earlier in the year.
Sources said the price increase is putting the PS market at risk of demand destruction.
“Any time you get that high, people get pretty cautious,” said one trader.
After the increase US December PS, contract prices as assessed by ICIS were at 105-108 cents/lb for bulk GPPS (general purpose PS) DEL (delivered) and 113-115 cents/lb for bulk HIPS (high-impact PS) DEL.
($1 = €0.73)
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