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
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polystyrene
Track historical price data
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
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2015
The US PS market should continue its roller-coaster ride for the next few months, based on rising feedstock benzene. Sources expect prices to rise in July because of the recent benzene contract settlement. However, sources said the recent decline in oil prices could keep benzene values lower for the remainder of the summer, thereby keeping a cap on PS.
The €85/tonne reduction on styrene prices in July is likely to help support European demand, which many market participants believe will remain slow over July/August due to summer shutdowns in the region. There is an element of inventory rebuilding, however, as styrene costs have fallen after several months of steady upward movement.
Demand for PS in Asia is expected to perk up from the second half of July, as end-users will likely replenish stocks ahead of the Chinese manufacturing for exports season that typically starts in August. Suppliers lamented thin margins from elevated feedstock costs in the second quarter. Hence, the recent retreat in SM values could provide a much needed boost to PS demand, should resin prices decline sufficiently.
News & analysis
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.