Expandable polystyrene Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Expandable polystyrene market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Expandable polystyrene or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Expandable polystyrene market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
Expandable polystyrene Overview
EPS is a rigid cellular form of polystyrene, possessing properties that make it ideal as a packaging mechanism and also in insulation.
The key drivers in the market at in Europe are the upstream cost of feedstock, which is styrene monomer and the level of business in the construction industry downstream.
Each month, the monthly styrene barge contract is the kicking off point for discussions between EPS producers and their customers.
Because the EPS industry is related to the construction sector, it can be very seasonal and that seasonality can be accentuated by long, severe winters which dampen down demand quite considerably. However, the market is a resilient one and prices and consumption can pick up quite strongly.
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Expandable polystyrene news and market information products from ICIS
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Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2015
Following the €290/tonne reduction for the European January styrene barge contract, players in the downstream expandable polystyrene (EPS) market are braced for more triple-digit decreases this month. Several sources spoke of January price reductions of €200-250/tonne. There is still a widespread feeling that there is a need for ongoing margin recovery following 2014, when sluggish demand meant that the market failed to keep track with price developments in the upstream styrene sector.
Slumping EPS prices failed to elicit any strong buying interest in Asia so far this year. Most buyers continued to wait-and-see, in anticipation of weaker resin values in the first quarter due to potentially lower crude and SM numbers. Asia producers kept output low to keep inventories manageable. Buyers, however, continued to buy on a ‘need to’ basis amid the current manufacturing lull in Asia.
EPS producers in the US plan to lower prices by 5 cents/lb in January because of ongoing declines in feedstock benzene and styrene. The declines in raw material prices stem from the continuing plunge in energy markets.
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Expandable polystyrene news & analysis
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Expandable Polystyrene Methodology
About Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid cellular form of polystyrene (PS) with good thermal insulation and shock absorbing properties, high compressive strength, low weight and resistance to moisture.
Building and construction applications are the largest outlet for EPS. Large quantities are used to make insulation foam for closed cavity walls, roofs and floor insulation. EPS foam also finds uses in road construction, bridges, drainage, flotation and sound insulation.
The other main application of EPS is in packaging. Food items such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry can be packed with EPS. The good shock absorbency of EPS makes is suitable for the packaging of delicate electronic goods.
Other uses for EPS include providing protection in crash helmets and as decoration in design work.
Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene