The ICIS Expandable Polystyrene report is published weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. Price assessments cover spot or contract markets for block, packaging, insulation standard and flame retardant grades, depending on the region.
These unbiased and independent reports will give you valuable insight into market developments and the key factors that are driving prices. News and analysis include an overview of the market, feedstocks movements, production schedules and graphs. Our locally based reporters provide intelligence enabling you to follow the up-to-date developments on the market and make informed commercial decisions.
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Expandable polystyrene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Expandable polystyrene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Expandable polystyrene marketplace.
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Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
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Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2018
Plants in the region expected to be running normally in the second quarter. Most suppliers will calibrate run-rates to ensure stockpile do not reach unmanageable levels. Supply in Asia will remain ample with suppliers looking to export markets to absorb a portion of their production.
The key Chinese construction sector is expected to pick up pace toward the middle of the year and boost demand for EPS. At the same time, an increase in production activities towards the second half of the quarter could also spur EPS demand from the packaging sector.
Following some short planned maintenance turnarounds that took place a couple of months ago, EPS supply is considered to have returned to normal levels. The expectation of increased demand from April onwards once the high season will have began should lead to a more balanced market.
Improved weather conditions from April onwards will mean an increase in EPS volumes as the construction business will be getting busier during springtime. Moreover, on-going tightness in the MDI market, although not as much as before, might still give some support for EPS off-take.
No plans for turnarounds have been announced by North American EPS producers for the second quarter, so supply should be steady. As was the case in January, Mexico and Canada will continue to be the top two destinations for US EPS in the second quarter, followed by the Bahamas and South Korea.
The second quarter is typically one of the highest demand quarters for US EPS, as products are heavily manufactured prior to the summer season. Demand for disposable items hits it peak in the summer months. Mexico will be the primary destination for EPS exports during the second quarter, followed by Canada.
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Expandable polystyrene news & analysis
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Expandable Polystyrene Methodology
About Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid cellular form of polystyrene (PS) with good thermal insulation and shock absorbing properties, high compressive strength, low weight and resistance to moisture.
Building and construction applications are the largest outlet for EPS. Large quantities are used to make insulation foam for closed cavity walls, roofs and floor insulation. EPS foam also finds uses in road construction, bridges, drainage, flotation and sound insulation.
The other main application of EPS is in packaging. Food items such as eggs, meat, fish and poultry can be packed with EPS. The good shock absorbency of EPS makes is suitable for the packaging of delicate electronic goods.
Other uses for EPS include providing protection in crash helmets and as decoration in design work.
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