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 of Asia expandable polystyrene (EPS) was more than sufficient to meet demand as end-users have healthy inventory levels. Softer downstream demand offset any impact from reduced February EPS supply in the market caused by shutdowns. An EPS plant in Vietnam was shut on 1-10 February, with production loss estimated at around 1,000 tonnes, while producers in China halted production during the Lunar New Year holiday.
Demand from key import market China was especially soft due to the winter season. EPS is also widely used in the construction sector, which goes on a lull during winter. China was not actively buying due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Re-stocking this year was especially slow due to a colder winter season. EPS is used in making insulation panels and roads.
European expandable polystyrene (EPS) supply improved significantly in Q1 2019 as production issues that occurred in Q4 2018 eased and a cold snap in February softened demand in that month. A planned turnaround at BEWiSynbra’s plant in Finland lasted for longer than anticipated in March although the maintenance was not thought to have impacted availability with fundamentals broadly balanced.
EPS demand varied throughout Q1 2019. Restocking after year-end destocking and a mild January spurred demand in that month. However, a cold snap in February and lengthening supply through much of the quarter dampened sentiment in key regions. The UK and Irish markets bucked this trend as buyers stocked up inventories due to pre-Brexit logistical concerns.
Supply of US expandable polystyrene (EPS) was good through the first quarter, as upstream styrene was plentiful ahead of planned turnarounds scheduled for late in the quarter.
Demand for EPS was steady at a softer level throughout the first quarter, as downstream uses in the packaging and shape moulding are generally not affected by seasonality.
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.