Lower demand, feedstock costs drive down PS prices in April

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 9, 2013 2:37 pm ET
Updated: May 10, 2013 12:34 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Polystyrene, Materials Suppliers, Resin Pricing

AKRON, OHIO — Lower feedstock costs and waning demand led North American solid polystyrene resin prices to tick down an average of 3 cents per pound in April.

It's the second price drop to hit the regional solid PS market in the last three months. Prices had been flat in March after falling an average of 2 cents in February. The 5-cent drop so far in 2013 equates to a decline of about 4 percent, based on prices for high-impact PS used in injection molding, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart. Solid PS prices saw a net gain of 10 cents for full-year 2012.

Market sources said that the decline was due in part to lower prices for benzene used to make styrene monomer feedstock. Benzene prices for April were $4.36 per gallon, down 7 percent from March levels. Prices for benzene declined steadily after hitting an all-time high of $5.16 per gallon in January.

But those declines apparently have ended in May, as benzene prices for the month settled at $4.47 per gallon, up almost 3 percent vs. April. Sources said that increase could lead to higher PS resin prices in May or at least help to keep prices from declining further.

North American solid PS demand fell 2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. Sales of PS into the electrical/electronic end market provided a bright spot for the quarter, growing almost 12 percent.

During 2012, regional PS sales had fallen 3.5 percent. The region's PS market is looking to reverse a long-term slide caused by high prices and competition from other resins.

Also this week, PN is correcting prices for expanded PS (EPS) on its pricing chart to show changes that have occurred since early 2012. EPS prices have increased a net of 16 cents per pound in that period, for an upward swing of about 12 percent.

The correction is shown on EPS grades used in cups as well as on unmodified grades on this week's chart.

EPS sales in the U.S. and Canada fell 10 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to ACC. The regional EPS market is trying to recapture the momentum of 2012, when sales boomed almost 8 percent. That increase was fueled by a sales gain of almost 40 percent in EPS used in shape applications.


Comments

Lower demand, feedstock costs drive down PS prices in April

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: May 9, 2013 2:37 pm ET
Updated: May 10, 2013 12:34 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Slowing the aging process in plastics

October 31, 2014 1:13 pm ET

Australian scientists have developed a new material that can strengthen porous plastics by slowing their aging process.    More

Image

Corbion Puriac considering PLA plant in Thailand, if customers commit

October 31, 2014 11:52 am ET

Biofeedstocks supplier Corbion Puriac will build a polylactic acid (PLA) plant in Thailand if it receives a sales commitment from customers.    More

Image

Report: Lanxess may cut 1,200 jobs

October 31, 2014 9:40 am ET

German chemicals company Lanxess AG may cut up to 1,200 jobs, around 7 percent of its workforce, as part of a group-wide overhaul to counter...    More

Image

PP prices rise, solid PS, PET drop

October 30, 2014 1:15 pm ET

North American polypropylene resin prices surged again in October, while regional prices for solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin continued their...    More

Image

Italian compounder opening first US plant

October 30, 2014 9:45 am ET

The song of the South has led Italian compounder So.F.Ter Group to open its first plant in the United States in Lebanon, Tenn.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events