HOUSTON (ICIS)--US September polystyrene (PS) contracts have settled at an average increase of 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne) following higher feedstock prices in August.
The price increase comes amid mixed pressure in the market between the higher August feedstock prices and some falling feedstock prices this month.
ICIS benzene, ethylene and styrene spot prices increased in August, but only ethylene prices have notched further gains in September.
Typically, September is a lower demand month for PS, but it is still better than it will be later in the year.
Lower benzene and styrene spot prices this month are in contrast to higher ethylene spot prices. That scenario will add mixed pricing pressure heading into October.
ICIS ethylene spot prices rose by 26% from 31 August through 14 September. Prices were unchanged this week.
ICIS benzene spot prices averaged $2.83/gal during the first 20 days of September, after averaging $2.95/gal in August.
The direction of benzene and ethylene prices affect PS prices more than styrene.
Spot styrene prices reveal the state of current availability in the market. Lower styrene spot prices this month show that supply has improved.
Medium to large PS buyers typically have more than one supplier. Smaller buyers that have only one supplier may have seen increases in September that exceeded 2 cents/lb.
ICIS PS prices on Friday are 107-117 cents/lb DEL (delivered) US.
North American PS producers include AmSty, Grupo Idesa, INEOS Styrolution, Resirene and Total Petrochemicals USA.
Pictured is a shelf made of polystyrene (PS). Photo by Al Greenwood.