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 Q4 2017
Overall EPS output is expected to be lower for Q4, amidst various extended holidays across the region during the quarter, such as the 1-8 October Golden Week in China, as well as typical year-end lull in other regional markets. In addition, due to lacklustre downstream demand conditions, many plants in China, which had already been operating at below 60% of capacity for most parts of the year, may consider further cuts to run rates to minimise unsold stocks.
Demand from the manufacturing-for-exports sector in China is expected to be minimal, if not diminished, during the fourth quarter, as the peak downstream production period in Q3 has passed. Requirements from other EPS applications, such as construction, are also not expected to be robust in view of the usual year-end lull for these industries.
The European EPS market might be looking tight as it enters the final quarter of the year, but supply is expected to improve from November onwards when demand will start dropping ahead of the first winter days. In December, the market will have probably gone back to normal supply levels with slower purchasing activity ahead of Christmas.
The European EPS market is expected to enjoy another month or so of healthy demand as already the indication for November volume shave been rather positive. From then onwards and as weather conditions throughout the region will be getting colder, order entry will start to ease and reach standard levels before the Christmas break.
There are no plans for turnarounds at EPS plants in North America during the fourth quarter. The capacity addition in Mexico will make that much more supply available to the US market. As a result, Mexico could eventually overtake Canada as the largest EPS supplier to the US market.
EPS demand in the fourth quarter is always the strongest in October, and begins to drop in November. Demand usually hits its low point for the year in December. US EPS exports should continue to outpace last year’s volumes for the balance of 2017, and Mexico is the biggest recipient of the increased volumes.
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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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