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HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polystyrene (PS) producer Total Petrochemicals announced to customers this week that it would raise the US price for all grades of the resin by 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne), effective on 1 July, sources said on Wednesday.
The company did not give a reason for the increase in a 16 June letter to customers. One market participant said the increase was likely related to higher spot benzene prices in recent weeks, but described a 5 cent/lb increase as aggressive.
So far, no other US producers were heard to have announced increases for July.
June contracts are not officially settled yet, sources said. At least two suppliers were heard to have agreed to a reduction of 1 cent/lb for the month, but final confirmation was not available from a third supplier, sources said.
US benzene spot prices have been creeping up in the past few weeks, with spot prices as high as $4.74-4.80/gal on Wednesday. That is well above the $4.48/gal June contract price, and indicates that July contracts may move higher, sources have said.
May PS prices are at 107-109 cents/lb for bulk general purpose PS (GPPS) DEL (delivered) and at 115-117 cents/lb for bulk high-impact PS (HIPS) DEL, as assessed by ICIS.
Major US polystyrene producers include Total Petrochemicals, Americas Styrenics and Styrolution.
The following compares US GPPS prices to feedstock costs.