European EPS prices settle in line with feedstock increase

21 February 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European expandable polystyrene (EPS) contract prices in February have generally settled €10-15/tonne higher than in January, broadly in line with higher styrene feedstock costs in the month, due to seasonally soft demand, particularly for insulation material, sources said on Friday.

A producer said weak demand prevented it from hiking prices further and recovering margins, following three months of margin deterioration on higher costs.

"We were looking to have increase a bit more than feedstock, but demand is not so great, not exceptional, prices moving in line with the styrene monomer," it said.

"We expect higher demand in March, seasonally," it added.

Buyers said February was a typical, low-demand, winter month. One said it had settled its February contracts at increases of between €10-15/tonne due to the sluggish demand. Nevertheless, it expects demand to grow in March.

"We settled slightly below the styrene monomer increase. It is a typical low demand month, but sellers started with higher expectations," it said. 

By Iain Packham