Polystyrene Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Polystyrene market, whether you buy or sell Polystyrene or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the news and analysis that put the market into focus, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
Polystyrene overview Transcript
Polystyrene is a resin, mainly sold in pellet form. It is shaped into a variety of products including cups, disposable dinnerware, take-out containers and toys.
Polystyrene in the US is a mature market with limited growth potential.
Producers have consolidated in capacity and have become better at managing inventories, producing on a ‘as needed’ basis.
With supply and demand more imbalanced, feedstocks are now the main driver of US polystyrene prices.
Benzene forms a large part of the polystyrenes cost structure. Because of its status as an imported commodity in the US, benzene prices can change rapidly. This has introduced unwelcome price volatility to polystyrene producers and buyers in recent years.
Ethylene, butadiene and natural gases are also important upstream markets to watch.
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Polystyrene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Polystyrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polystyrene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polystyrene
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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polystyrene
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Other types of reports we cover for Polystyrene
Use margin reports to assess the profitability of commodities
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Polystyrene
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Polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2015
Polystyrene (PS) prices in Europe are poised for a decrease in January following the €290/tonne reduction for styrene monomer in January. Sellers have announced just a €200/tonne price decrease in January, as they were looking to recoup some of the margins lost over the course of 2014. Some inventory restocking in the new year, combined with the run-up to the traditional peak season towards the end of the first quarter, is providing support to the market sentiment.
PS demand is expected to stay weak in Asia during the first quarter as buyers remain cautious. The sharp fall in resin values last year prompted buyers to delay commitments. Most buyers have low stocks after weeks of limited purchases, however, the anticipation of even lower prices in the near term has resulted in slow buying activities. Traders similarly kept low stocks in view of uncertain demand with most continuing to fix back-to-back deals.
US polystyrene (PS) buyers and sellers expect a repeat of the December price cut or even more of a reduction in January and throughout the first quarter of 2015. An estimate among buyers is that about 10 cents/lb should come out of the market, based on the continuing plunge in benzene and the oil market. PS producers also said a further cut is likely in February.
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Polystyrene news & analysis
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Polystyrene Asia Margin Report Methodology
Polystyrene Europe Margin Report Methodology
Polystyrene US Margin Report Methodology
Polystyrene (PS) is a clear, crystalline resin which burns with a sooty flame. It is soluble in cyclohexane (CX), ethylbenzene (EB), ethyl acetate (etac), carbon disulphide, but insoluble in ether, acetone, phenol and saturated hydrocarbons.
Two main types of PS are produced: crystal or general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) which is a clear, amorphous resin with good stiffness and electrical properties but it is brittle; and medium and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) which contain varying levels of polybutadiene to improve toughness and impact resistance.
Polystyrene is used in a variety of consumer and commercial products with major applications in domestic appliances, construction, electronics, toys and food packaging. Included in food packaging are food and dairy containers, closures, lids, produce baskets, vending cups and fast food containers.