Brazil’s PS prices steady in December on tight supply, holidays

16 December 2013 19:50 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Brazil’s polystyrene (PS) producers are keeping prices steady in December for all grades of PS, sources from two producers said on Monday.

One producer noted that prices are steady in terms of the local real currency, but they have been subject to fluctuations brought by currency devaluation in Brazil.

Producer Unigel continues to produce only at the Guaruja plant, formerly Dow Chemical's, while its other plant at Sao Jose dos Campos, formerly BASF's, remains idled.

There is no timetable for the return of the idled plant.

The Innova plant has been stopped for much of December and has only recently started, a source at Innova said. This has tightened the market.

Producer Videolar is still in the process of acquiring Innova from Petrobras, but still waiting from a resolution from CADE, the government agency that regulates acquisitions.

December demand is perceived as softer than November’s, mainly because demand from the disposables sector has declined with the granting of collective vacations by companies, something that has not happened in past years.

Producers consider that December is not a good month for price changes because of the year-end holidays. “This month will be over by the 20th, a producer said.

Brazilian PS prices are in the range of $2,269-2,398/tonne (€1,656-1,751/tonne) FOT (free on truck) for crystal grade, while high-impact PS (HIPS) prices are at $2,355-2,483/tonne FOT, based on ICIS data.

Prices in Brazil include the PIS/Cofins taxes, which add on average 9.25% to the price.

($1 = €0.73)

By George Martin