LONDON (ICIS news)--Players in the European polystyrene (PS) market say prices have risen by around €10/tonne since the beginning of December. This increment closely mirrors the change in the styrene monomer contract price for this month, but falls well short of increases of €20-30/tonne initially proposed by PS producers.
Suppliers acknowledge that, although apparently normal for this time of year, demand is currently insufficient to enable them to push through a bigger increase.
Many contracts have not yet been settled. However, one producer believed that a slightly larger increase might be possible later because some converters could prefer to order now rather than take a bigger hit in January.
Other players, while doubting that any further movement will occur in December, think the market might well be in line for a substantially bigger hike in the new year.
Their reasoning is that styrene producers lost a considerable amount of margin this month because they faced a €109/tonne jump in the contract price they have to pay for their benzene.
They are, therefore, expected to press for an increase in January to offset their feedstock costs.
ICIS assesses general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) at €1,960-2,030/tonne ($2,685-2,780/tonne) free delivered (FD). These values are generally subject to heavy discounts.
($1 = €0.73)