South Asia spot polystyrene prices rises on weak rupee

06 September 2013 10:56 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot polystyrene (PS) prices in south Asia rose this week as regional producers increased their list prices for September shipments, market sources said on Friday.

In India, list prices for general purpose PS (GPPS) cargoes shipping in September were announced at Indian rupees (Rs) 140.00/kg , or $2,114.48/tonne (€1,607/tonne) EXW (ex-works), up by Rs10.00/kg ($151.03/tonne) from the previous month.

Indian producers attributed this sharp hike to high prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM) cargoes that arrived in the previous month. The steep depreciation in the Indian rupee against the US dollar was also said to have driven the higher list prices.

High impact PS (HIPS) prices rose to Rs144.00/kg ($2,174.90/tonne) EXW, up from Rs134.00/kg ($2,023.86/tonne) EXW for August lots.

PS demand in India, which has been weak since June-July because of the monsoon season,  was affected by the continued firmness in PS offers. The steep depreciation in the Indian rupee further hampered buying as Indian importers suspended all discussions and withdrew from the market.

Singapore-origin cargoes loading in end-August and early September was offered at $1,950/tonne CFR India for GPPS and at $2,000/tonne CFR India for HIPS were heard to have received very limited response from Indian importers, who opted to watch the trend in the Indian rupee.

The Indian rupee has depreciated by over 25% against the Us dollar since 1 April this year.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Pakistan, the chief regional producer also announced an increase in its list prices for September shipments

List prices for GPPS rose by Pakistan rupees (PRs) 5.00/kg, or $47.71/tonne (€47.7/tonne) EXW, to Rs225.00/kg EXW ($2,146.95/tonne), while prices of HIPS were increased to PRs223.00/kg ($2,127.86/tonne) EXW, up by PRs3.00/kg ($28.62/tonne) EXW from August.

“Lower rubber prices enabled the producer to cap the rise in HIPS prices, while the hike in GPPS was higher,” said a source close to the producer.

Demand in Pakistan was heard to be largely subdued as most buyers continue to purchase strictly on a need-to basis, amid high PS prices.

PS is widely used in the manufacture of packaging, toys and consumer electronics.

($1 = Rs66.2, $1 = PRs104.8, $1 = €0.76)

By Veena Pathare