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 Q3 2016
After the highly anticipated downward correction in styrene monomer values in July, European EPS prices for Q3 will continue to be defined by the respective changes in raw material costs. With the holiday season in southern Europe at the end of July, August will probably remain quiet in terms of order intake but sales are expected to pick up again at the beginning of September.
Asia EPS demand showed limited pick up into July. Demand from the Chinese construction sector has been weaker than expected this year, according to several producers. At the same time, consumption from the packaging sector also showed little improvement. However, looking ahead, sellers expect a modest recovery in demand for packaging as factories in China are expected to run at higher rates during the third quarter manufacturing for exports season.
As expected, Q3 began with US EPS prices rolling over from June to July. However, higher feedstock benzene and styrene prices in July - in addition to Asian EPS prices - could result in producers implementing a price increase in August. June volumes were strong, and July demand was seen as heading in the same direction.
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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