Asia EPS suppliers reduce offers on falling SM prices, poor demand

28 September 2016 03:51 Source:ICIS News

Styrofoam as insulation panel 28 September 2016

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Producers of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Asia reduced their offers this week in response to flagging demand and declining prices of feedstock styrene monomer (SM), market players said on Wednesday.

Offers were heard at around $1,180/tonne CFR (cost and freight) NE (northeast) Asia, down by around $20/tonne from previous quotations.

“We have reduced offers as customers are lowering their bids,” said a producer in Taiwan.

EPS resins are made into styrofoam and are used for packaging and insulation panels.

Spot SM prices drifted lower towards $1,000/tonne CFR China in the second half of September, ICIS data showed.

Prevailing poor demand for EPS further provided downward pressure on prices.

“Buyers are not willing to commit at current prices, hence, suppliers are pressured to lower offers,” said a trader in southeast Asia.

With the third-quarter manufacturing-for-exports season in China largely ended, and a week-long National Day holiday in the country coming up in October, market activity is expected to taper off further.

“Trade will surely slow further in the near term as China goes on holiday,” said another EPS trader in southeast Asia.

The EPS market is expected to enter the traditional year-end lull in November, market sources said.

EPS, SM CFR China, NE Asia 28 September 2016

Picture: Polystyrene (PS) is made into styrofoam, which is used as insulation panels in the construction sector. (Source: imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock)

By Clive Ong