LONDON (ICIS)--The polystyrene (PS) and expandable polystyrene (EPS) markets in Italy are very long, sources said Friday, due to a combination of extremely low demand and a deluge of cheap imports from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
“The Italian market is very weak for all polymers. Prices are under pressure from material that is coming from the Middle East and Far East. These are at incredible prices compared with European prices,” a buyer said.
“Demand is incredibly lower than last year and there is no sign of recovery in demand. EPS - no demand, no market,” it added.
A PS distributor said: “Italy is flooded with all kinds of offers for all kinds of material from the Middle East, Asia, prices are really low. I was forced to sell really cheap this month [January].”
A sell-side source, however, said the market in Italy has not been so bad in January, adding that trading has been more or less in line with its seasonal expectations. It noted that it is currently the off-season for construction and this has dampened EPS offtake, but said the peak season should begin towards the end of February. Furthermore, it said the outlook for 2014 is good due to fairly positive GDP growth expectations within the Eurozone.