The ICIS Expandable Polystyrene report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Price assessments cover spot or contract markets for block, packaging, insulation standard and flame retardant grades, depending on the region.
These unbiased and independent reports will give you valuable insight into market developments and the key factors that are driving prices. News and analysis include an overview of the market, feedstocks movements, production schedules and graphs. Our locally based reporters provide intelligence enabling you to follow the up-to-date developments on the market and make informed commercial decisions.
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
We offer the following regional Expandable polystyrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Expandable polystyrene marketplace.
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Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
Asia - Asia EPS demand remained weak in September with several suppliers conceding that buying interest is unlikely to pick up in October and November. Most users have sufficient stocks to cover near term requirements, and were in no hurry to pick up large parcels. Buyers also commented that orders for finished products remained below expectations - thus their hesitance to stock up too much inventory.
Europe - European EPS prices began Q4 on a downward trend following a reduction in the feedstock styrene barge contract. Players expect raw material prices to decrease further in the last two months of the year. Demand remains one of the market's main concerns. Although the packaging industry has seen steady performance, overall demand has remained weak during the past few months.
US - The US EPS market began Q4 with prices rolling over from September. As anticipated, demand remained strong in October. Demand will be reduced in November before slowing down substantially in December. EPS prices are closely linked to the price of feedstock benzene, so benzene direction during Q4 will be critical to EPS prices.
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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