HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September polystyrene (PS) contract prices were assessed downward on Friday by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne) based on falling benzene.
Two major producers had offered a price cut of 4 cents/lb, based on an 11% drop in feedstock benzene costs from its peak in July. However, the third major producer was heard only offering a 2 cent/lb price drop for the month, sources said.
With the price decline, US September PS prices were at 110-112 cents/lb for bulk general purpose PS (GPPS) DEL (delivered) and at 118-120 cents/lb for bulk high-impact PS (HIPS) DEL, as assessed by ICIS.
Major US PS producers include Total, Styrolution and Americas Styrenics.
While buyers may have attempted to get more material from the two suppliers who dropped prices by 4 cents/lb, sources said that there was not enough material available to cover those customers.
However, one trader said that buyers were not buying at maximum levels in September because they are anticipating another price drop in October.
"People think it will slide another 3-4 cents/lb next month," the trader said.
US benzene prices dropped to $4.17-4.18/gal this week, down about 3% from last week's close at $4.27-4.33/gal, with traders taking positions ahead of next week’s October contract settlement.