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.
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Other types of reports we cover for Polystyrene
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News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Polystyrene
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Polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2015
European PS prices are expected to resist a sizeable portion of the €210/tonne drop in the October styrene contract amid some supply constraints and production issues in the region. Consumption is strong following sluggish offtake in August and September, as many players rebuild empty inventories to meet demand.
Demand in the Asia PS market remains in the doldrums. Suppliers concede that trade will likely remain slow even after the Golden Week holiday in China in early October. Most users of PS have completed the production of finished goods for exports in September and are expected to reduce purchases of resins in the weeks ahead. Hence, buyers and traders preferred to keep lean stocks.
Supply in the US market is tight as a result of steady-to-strong summer demand, which is exacerbated by a planned outage at Americas Styrenics' PS plant at Ironton, Ohio, through at least the month of October. Demand is seen as typical for this time of year, and is expected to improve slightly in October due to pre-holiday buying interest. Demand should be steady in November, before dropping in December.
Latin America Polystyrene (PS) supply will continue to be more than adequate, with producer Unigel restarting its Sao José dos Santos facility. Demand is expected to pick up, because of seasonal reasons. However, it is still projected to be softer than in 2014, as the Latin America economy will shrink or grow only slightly, according to the IMF.
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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.