Argentina’s polystyrene prices to remain steady in July

03 July 2014 18:01 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Petrobras Energia, Argentina’s main polystyrene (PS) producer is keeping prices steady in July, despite some sliding of the local currency, a company source said on Thursday.

Prices had much volatility this year after a nearly 25% currency devaluation at the end of January.

Polystyrene prices in Argentina have experienced constant increases from February to May, but have been steady ever since.

The domestic currency has stabilised after the devaluation but the peso is gradually sliding again, a variation that market players peg at about 2%.

Slow demand is causing a rapid build-up of inventories for producers as buyers consume their own stocks.

This could bring reductions in the operating rates of the local plant to control excessive inventory build up.

Currently, general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) prices in Argentina are in the range of $2,675-2,828/tonne DEL (delivered), while high impact polystyrene (HIPS) prices are in the range of $2,825-3,003/tonne DEL, according to ICIS data.

Demand has declined sharply in Argentina, where credit terms have shortened and inflation continues to chip away buying power.

By George Martin