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 Q3 2019
Supply was plentiful with majority of producers in the region maintaining operating rates at around 80-100%.
Demand from China is soft especially from the packaging and the construction sector. This has motivated end-users from these sectors to restock gently.
European expandable polystyrene (EPS) availability was lengthy throughout Q3. Although there were a couple of planned maintenances during the summer months, this did not affect supply amid flat to weak demand and Iranian imports arriving in key markets such as Italy and Eastern Europe. Offers of Iranian-origin material even reached the UK and parts of northwest Europe at times.
Demand in the European EPS market was broadly flat to weak through much of Q3. The summer slowdown in southern Europe was only part of the cause with general macroeconomic conditions weighing on construction and packaging activity in key markets. However, construction held up better than other sectors and EPS consumption in France and parts of Eastern Europe helped to offset a weaker Germany and UK.
US expandable polystyrene (EPS) availability was healthy throughout the third quarter. Ample supplies for styrene and benzene feedstocks supported healthy operating rates at EPS units while sluggish demand uptake helped keep inventory levels on the higher side.
Demand for US expandable polystyrene (EPS) was weak during the third quarter. Statistics from industry group the American Chemistry Council (ACC) showed double-digit year-on-year declines in EPS sales in North America. A slowdown in global manufacturing activity hampered EPS demand while legislative pressure on EPS products such as disposable cups also limited consumption.
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.
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