ICIS US Polystyrene Margin report provides crucial information about market factors, including feedstock prices and business cash costs, giving a better understanding of market dynamics.
The report covers integrated and standalone production of both general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS). Integrated production is based on naphtha and benzene feedstocks or ethane and benzene feedstocks, while standalone production is based on styrene feedstocks. HIPS production also requires polybutadiene feedstock.
Margins are calculated for integrated and standalone production based on contract prices, and for standalone production based on purchases of spot styrene and sales of contract GPPS or HIPS.
The volatile nature of the PS feedstock markets underlines the benefits of a weekly report tracking variable costs and margins. US contract prices for benzene feedstock are expected to start rising in May, halting the decline that started in February after reaching a record high in January 2013. The benzene contract price for April fell by 33 cent/gal, leading to expectations that PS prices will also fall for the month.
Paul Ray, Head of Data and Analytics at ICIS, said: “The new US PS margin report is a simple reference for weekly movements on costs and margins, and provides a transparent view of how the external business environment impacts this sector. The clear methodology used for the ICIS margin reports allows for informed, independent referencing of variable costs and margins.”
The methodology used for ICIS margin reports is based on ICIS benchmark price assessments, as well as plant manufacturing and feedstock yield data for the cracker units provided by Linde Engineering.
The launch of the US PS margin report follows the launch of the US styrene margin report in December last year.