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
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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News & analysis
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Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2014
In the US expandable polystyrene (EPS) market, prices are expected to decline over the next two months, because of expectations that feedstock benzene prices will continue to fall. However, there is a risk that prices may jump again at the end of the year, if benzene prices spike again, as they have done for the past two years in December. While supply remains tight, there is some indication that supply is starting to improve, particularly with the expected influx of large volumes from Asia.
European EPS players generally expect prices to follow feedstock styrene monomer (SM) costs during the fourth quarter, amid seasonally lower winter demand. Nevertheless, weak demand on the back of traditionally soft fourth-quarter construction activity could lengthen supply and weigh on prices.
With Asia’s manufacturing season for exports expected to be completed in October, demand for EPS from the packaging sector will likely weaken further in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the consumption of resins from China’s construction sector is expected to stay low, given the credit and financing issues in China as well as its soft property market amid weak economic expansion.
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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