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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Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2018
Supply of EPS is expected to remain steady in the third quarter. Sellers would likely sell more cargoes in the region and export less outside of Asia, should demand pick up. Otherwise, the overall output from regional facilities is expected to remain mostly unchanged from the second quarter so long as margins remain adequate.
Demand for EPS is expected to improve as the Chinese construction sector enters its peak season. Demand from the packaging sector should also pick up as the third quarter manufacturing for exports season in China gets underway. The likely dampener to this is the trade spat between the US and China, should tension escalates further.
EPS supply is expected to remain ample in Q3 with no known production issues or turnarounds and demand likely softening later in the quarter with the arrival of the summer season. Extra volumes from suppliers in Iran could arrive later in the quarter before US sanctions come into force in November.
EPS demand is expected to remain broadly healthy for the first half of July, depending on expected backwardation of styrene prices into August. Late-July and August are anticipated to slow with the summer season in Europe, reducing activity, with construction firms seeking to conclude projects before the holidays arrive.
There are no planned turnarounds in the North American EPS market during the third quarter, and producers are running at full rates. As was the case in the second quarter, Mexico and Canada will be the top two suppliers of EPS to the US market in the third quarter, followed by the Bahamas, South Korea and China.
Stable EPS pricing should help boost demand, which is expected to be as strong in July as it was in June. As was the case in the second quarter, Mexico and Canada will continue to be the top two destinations for US EPS exports in the third quarter, followed by Colombia, China and Hong Kong.
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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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