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.
Expandable polystyrene Overview
EPS is a rigid cellular form of polystyrene, possessing properties that make it ideal as a packaging mechanism and also in insulation.
The key drivers in the market at in Europe are the upstream cost of feedstock, which is styrene monomer and the level of business in the construction industry downstream.
Each month, the monthly styrene barge contract is the kicking off point for discussions between EPS producers and their customers.
Because the EPS industry is related to the construction sector, it can be very seasonal and that seasonality can be accentuated by long, severe winters which dampen down demand quite considerably. However, the market is a resilient one and prices and consumption can pick up quite strongly.
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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
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene
Expandable polystyrene: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
With the first wave of price increases set to go into effect on 15 January in the US expandable polystyrene (EPS) market, there is some expectation of a separate round of price increases due to surging feedstock benzene prices. The higher domestic prices have squeezed imports of Asian material. Demand is expected to be fairly strong in the first quarter.
Among the main factors that will define the European EPS market during the first quarter of the year will be the movements of the monthly feedstock styrene monomer (SM) contract price as well as weather conditions across the region. Winter conditions, mainly in Eastern Europe, are expected to have an impact on demand and slow down volumes. Meanwhile in Southern Europe, although weather is not such a problem there, countries such as Italy are faced with political and economic volatility and this has raised some concern among EPS market participants.
In Asia, EPS demand is expected to remain lacklustre in the first quarter. The key Chinese construction sector will remain in a lull amid the winter season. At the same time, the exports of finished goods from China will also remain low until the second quarter. Consequently, the average EPS output rate in China has stayed below 50% and is not expected to pick up sharply in the first quarter.
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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.
Upstream of Expandable polystyrene
Downstream of Expandable polystyrene