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

Image

Resin market has consolidated as it matured

November 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

The classic quantity vs. quality debate has played out in the ranks of North American resin makers in the last 25 years.    More

Image

'Evolution, not revolution' on the horizon for A. Schulman

November 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

Bernard Rzepka's schedule for his first year as CEO of compounding leader A. Schulman Inc. does not include reinventing the wheel.    More

Image

Penn Color plans $10 million expansion

November 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

Penn Color Inc. will break ground late next year on a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its manufacturing site in Hatfield, Pa.    More

New liquid colorants for PET packaging released

November 28, 2014 6:00 am ET

PolyOne Corp. has launched a line of new liquid colorants for PET packaging in personal care and cosmetic products.    More

RheTech to commercialize hemp fibers to replace glass in PP

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

RheTech Inc. plan to commercialize its first hemp fiber compounds in January.    More

Market Reports

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

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 billion 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

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