North American PS prices drop in July

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 22, 2013 2:36 pm ET
Updated: August 22, 2013 2:38 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, Resin Pricing

A drop in price for benzene feedstock led North American prices for solid polystyrene to dip an average of 2 cents per pound in July.

Regional PS prices had been flat in June after climbing 2 cents per pound in May. The July move was tied into a decline of almost 9 percent that hit the benzene market between May and July. Benzene prices fell from $4.47 per gallon to $4.07 in that two-month period.

But benzene prices already were trending upward again as of mid-August, with spot prices between $4.30 and $4.40 per gallon. This turnaround is leading some market watchers to speculate that PS prices could see a substantial increase in August or September.

Regional solid PS prices now are down 4 percent so far in 2013, based on prices for injection molding grades of high-impact PS as shown on the Plastics News resin pricing chart. That decrease includes a 5-cent decline that occurred in early 2013.

North American sales of solid PS into electrical/electronic applications were up 12 percent in the first four months of 2013, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. But overall solid PS sales essentially were flat in the same comparison.

Food packaging/food service was the largest single end use for solid PS in that four-month period with a market share of almost 58 percent, according to ACC. Sales in that segment were up 1.5 percent in the period.

The major PS news event for the summer of 2013 has been Styron LLC’s sales of its expandable PS business to resin distributor and compounder Ravago SA. The sale includes an EPS plant in Schkopau, Germany, as well as the Sconapor brand name.

Berwyn, Pa.-based Styron is a major producer of styrenic resins and latex and rubber products. In North America, Styron owns 50 percent of Americas Styrenics LLC, the region’s largest PS maker. Styron employs 2,100 worldwide and has annual sales of around $5.5 billion.


Comments

North American PS prices drop in July

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: August 22, 2013 2:36 pm ET
Updated: August 22, 2013 2:38 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

DuPont investing $100 million for more ethylene copolymer capacity

September 16, 2014 1:51 pm ET

Increased packaging demand is leading materials giant DuPont Co. to spend more than $100 million to increase capacity for ethylene copolymers at its...    More

Image

Latvian plastics recycler Nordic Plast boosts capacity

September 16, 2014 10:15 am ET

Latvian plastics waste recycler Nordic Plast Ltd. has invested more than 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million) to expand capacity and modernize production ...    More

Image

Sabic, Chinese Academy of Sciences sign five-year development agreement

September 15, 2014 11:54 am ET

Ties between one of the world's biggest oil producers and one of its biggest consumers grew tighter Sept. 12 with the announcement of a five-year...    More

Image

BASF analyzes products based on sustainability potential

September 15, 2014 11:48 am ET

Chemicals giant BASF SE has created a new process for managing its product portfolio based on sustainability criteria.    More

Image

China's Zhongtai Chemical calls off large-scale PVC project

September 12, 2014 2:16 pm ET

Accepting the gloomy reality of the PVC market, Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Co. Ltd. has officially canceled a 800,000-ton PVC resin project and instea...    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events