Asia EPS falls on weak demand, soft SM prices

03 August 2017 03:51 Source:ICIS News

Polystyrene 3 August

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices eased this week as regional demand has stayed weak and amid recent declines in feedstock styrene monomer (SM) values.

While EPS suppliers mostly rolled over their offers this week, trades were heard concluded at lower prices.

Taiwanese sellers maintained offers at around $1,330-1,340/tonne FOB (free on board) Taiwan, but some suppliers in China were willing to sell at lower levels of $1,310-1,320/tonne FOB China.

“Buyers are in a wait-and-see mode, after seeing recent weakness in SM prices,” said an EPS maker in Taiwan.

Spot prices of SM eased to the mid-$1,100/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China levels this week, from the mid- to high-$1,100/tonne CFR China levels over the past two weeks, ICIS data showed.

EPS resins are used for packaging and insulation panels.

“Sellers in China are quoting lower prices to Asia,” said a distributor in southeast Asia.

With some sellers being flexible with prices, buyers in southeast Asia have kept to the sidelines as they expect further price weakness in the near term.

“Buyers are picking up small lots to meet immediate production requirements; they expect prices to slip,” said another distributor in the region.

Asia EPS 3 August

Pictured above: Polystyrene for insulation at a construction site. (Source: WestEnd61/REX/Shutterstock)

By Clive Ong