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
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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
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
US polystyrene (PS) buyers and sellers expect increases for April, based on the continuing rise in feedstocks and tight supply. Besides the jump in benzene and styrene, demand is picking up because of spring and warmer weather that brings a boost in the construction market and because of a number of styrene plant turnarounds that began in April.
The European market has seen good demand from February onwards, but this has been supported by pre-buying ahead of styrene increases and some upcoming regional turnarounds. Now that styrene numbers are poised to drop by May, demand could be really limited this month. Overall, the outlook for PS is flat for 2015.
In Asia, overall demand has remained weak, with Chinese end-users seeing fewer than expected orders for finished goods. Traders expect buying to stay weak in the near term. End-users also have stocks on hand to meet immediate requirements. Trade is expected to taper off from the second half of April, ahead of the extended May Day holidays in China.
Latin American PS demand is likely to remain steady in the second quarter for seasonal reasons. Production usually rebounds in August and shows positive growth in September. PS prices began to rebound in March and April after several months of falling prices. The increase tracked hikes in feedstock benzene and styrene, and devaluation of domestic currencies.
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.