Benzene market leads to higher polystyrene prices

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 22, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: November 22, 2013 11:55 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Resin Pricing, Materials Suppliers

AKRON, OHIO — Plastics News is correcting prices for solid polystyrene on its resin pricing chart to show a net increase of 4 cents per pound since Aug. 1.

The increases mainly were tied to changes in price for benzene feedstock, which is used to make styrene monomer. Contract benzene prices jumped from $4.07 per gallon in July to $4.17 in August and $4.40 in September. They were relatively flat at $4.37 in October before dropping to $4.10 in November.

After being flat in August, regional PS prices increased 3 cents per pound both in September and October before declining 2 cents in November, according to buyers contacted by Plastics News.

Benzene prices for December are expected to be higher after a Nov. 19 steam explosion killed two workers and caused the shutdown of a Total SA plant making benzene and mixed xylenes in Antwerp, Belgium. The incident already had pushed spot benzene prices above $4.40 per gallon as of Nov. 21.

North American PS resin availability also was affected by a power outage in mid-September at a plant operated by Americas Styrenics in Torrance, Calif. The plant lost several days of production, and shipments were delayed until mid-October, the Houston company said.

PS — both in North America and globally — has lost volume to other resins because of higher prices and some alleged environmental impacts in recent years. But market analyst Priya Ravindranath recently said at an industry conference that she expects global PS demand to grow 2 percent per year in the 2013-18 period. By comparison, demand had declined an average of 1 percent per year from 2003-13.

North American PS operating rates are expected to be 75-80 percent in that period, according to Ravindranath, an IHS Chemical Inc. analyst in Houston. That’s higher than the projected global PS operating rate of 65-70 percent.


Comments

Benzene market leads to higher polystyrene prices

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: November 22, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: November 22, 2013 11:55 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Westlake Chemical Partners has strong stock opening

August 1, 2014 10:13 am ET

Westlake Chemical Partners LP debuted July 31 on the New York Stock Exchange at $24 per share, but jumped 28 percent by the end of the day.    More

LLDPE, PP sales grow in US, Canada

August 1, 2014 10:30 am ET

Other commodity resins lagged behind their rates from the first half of the previous year.    More

Image

Styrolution will open new production late 2014

July 30, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Germany-based styrenic materials group, Styrolution, has announced it is expanding its facility in Ludwigshafen, Germany.    More

Unipex Group buys Ferguson Chemical Innovation

July 29, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Chemical distributor Unipex Group Inc. announced July 29 that it had purchased Ferguson Chemical Innovation, a Brampton, Ontario-based supplier of...    More

Image

Carbon black supplier Orion begins trading on NYSE

July 29, 2014 11:29 am ET

Orion Engineered Carbons S.a.r.l. has priced the initial public offering of 19.5 million common shares at a price to the public of $18 per share.    More

Market Reports

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

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

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

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

More Events