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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Supply in the region, especially from Vietnam is expected to be thinner due to a scheduled turnaround at a major supplier’s plant. Another supplier in Taiwan is also expected to have a scheduled turnaround during the Lunar New Year and this is also expected to weigh on overall supply into the region.
Demand in the region is expected to stay soft as consumption continues to slow down on lacklustre sentiment in the downstream construction as well as manufacturing sector. Some market participants are hopeful that trade may pick up post-Lunar New Year as factories would be back in operations and keen to purchase material.
European expandable polystyrene (EPS) supply is anticipated to improve in Q1 2019, as Rhine river levels rise to typical levels for the time of year and ease upstream logistical constraints. Most expect BASF’s production woes to be over by January and Trinseo’s styrene plant is also anticipated to be operational again by mid-January.
Demand in the European expandable polystyrene (EPS) market is unclear for Q1 2019. Some expect poor weather conditions and December pre-buying and re-stocking activity to limit buying interest in January, while some sellers expect ongoing low prices to ensure order entries remain healthy for the time of year.
Supply in the US EPS market should remain steady in the first quarter, with no turnarounds on the horizon. The US is a net EPS importer, and Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas and South Korea will supply the lion’s share of EPS to the US market in the first quarter. Import volumes from South Korea could be contingent upon buying interest from the China market.
Demand should improve in the first quarter, following lower demand in the fourth quarter. The US EPS market entered the first quarter seeking price stability, after spot prices dropped in November and December. EPS prices this month will follow the direction of key feedstocks benzene and styrene. EPS demand in the first quarter will largely resemble demand in the first quarter of 2018, with packaging and construction continuing to comprise the largest markets.
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 Methodology
Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid cellular form of polystyrene with good thermal insulation and shock absorbing properties, high compressive strength, low weight and a resistance to moisture.
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.
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Following a decrease of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) in December, US PS (polystyrene) prices have settled lower again – dropping by 2...Read
LONDON (ICIS)--Sentiment in the European expandable polystyrene (EPS) market is mostly bullish for 2019, with some concerns over the EU ban on...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices will largely follow the direction of key feedstocks in 2019, as that is...Read
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Prices in the US styrene market are poised to peak in the first quarter as two plants are expected to begin turnarounds before the...Read