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 Q4 2014
In the US polystyrene (PS) market, prices are expected to decline slightly following a drop in benzene costs. However, if the benzene price rises again in December as it did the last two years, sources said there is a risk that PS prices may see a spike at the end of the year. Demand is expected to weaken somewhat through the balance of the year because of seasonal factors.
European PS players generally expect prices to track feedstock styrene monomer (SM) costs during the fourth quarter amid seasonally lower winter demand. Nevertheless, a strengthening US dollar versus the euro is making domestic European material more competitive than imported Asian material. Some domestic European producers are likely to use this period of limited competition to bolster their own margins.
In Asia, PS demand is expected to wane in the fourth quarter because of seasonal lull. The manufacturing of finished goods for exports would largely be completed in October. Weak economic expansion in China, coupled with credit and financing issues, are expected to continue dampening PS trade and demand.
News & analysis
Polystyrene news & analysis
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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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.