Price and market trends: Americas Styrenics unveils polystyene price hike

15 August 2014 10:48 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

The company is seeking an increase of 5 cents/lb for all polystyrene grades, effective 15 August

US polystyrene (PS) producer Americas Styrenics announced to customers on 6 August that it would raise the price for all grades of PS by 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne), effective on 15 August.

The company attributed the proposed price hike to “recent volatility and availability of feedstocks”, according to a 6 August letter to customers.

However, it was not clear what was driving the price hike, as feedstock benzene contracts for August dropped by 22 cents/gal to $5.06/gal.

Last month, Americas Styrenics declared force majeure on PS effective on 1 August, based on concerns about monomer availability as a result of “operability issues at a key supplier’s ethylene plant”, according to a 22 July letter.

At the time, sources said they believed the declaration was intended as a precautionary measure in case the plant did not come back up as quickly as expected.

Sources have said the PS market is fairly balanced, with buyers saying there has been no major difficulties obtaining the needed resin.

The price hike proposal comes immediately after US producers implemented a 7 cent/lb price hike for PS contracts in July.

That price hike was largely based on the 80 cent/gal increase in July benzene contract prices.

By Michelle Klump