04 February 2014 20:15 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--BASF announced it will raise prices for all grades of expandable polystyrene (EPS) sold in the US and Canada by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne), effective on 17 February, sources said on Tuesday.
While a letter to customers does not provide a reason for the increase, sources said it is based on higher feedstock costs. Benzene contracts for February rose by 25 cents/gal to settle at $5.09/gal. Styrene producers have announced increases of 4-5 cents/lb for January.
So far, no other US producers were heard to have announced a February increase, sources said.
Without other producers supporting an increase, buyers said they do not believe the BASF increase will stick.
“I see the market as flat,” said one buyer.
Another buyer agreed, saying it is hopeful that with benzene spot prices softening there may actually be a price decrease by March.
Current US EPS prices were assessed by ICIS at 103-107 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for block material and 101-105 cents/lb DEL for package material.
Major North American EPS producers are BASF, NOVA Chemicals, Flint Hills Resources, Styrochem, Nexkemia, Polioles and Polidesa.
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