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 Materials Suppliers Resin Pricing
Companies & Associations

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

Hanwha Azdel adds capacity in Lynchburg

April 16, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Composite maker Hanwha Azdel Inc. will add space and a new production line at its Lynchburg, Va., production facility, the company announced April 16.    More

Image

AGY adding glass fiber capacity

April 16, 2015 11:54 am ET

AGY Holding Corp. will expand capacity of glass-fiber yarns and rovings used in a wide range of thermoplastic compounds.    More

Image

Akcros adds capacity for PVC stabilizers

April 16, 2015 12:00 pm ET

Akcros Chemicals Inc. has increased capacity for powder stabilizers — a PVC additive — at its plant in New Brunswick, N.J.    More

Image

Report: European chemical, plastics production stalled in 2014

April 16, 2015 10:46 am ET

The Brussels-based European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has reported in its 'Chemicals Trend Report' that European chemical output only grew by ...    More

Image

A. Schulman, Citadel discuss the $800 million deal

April 15, 2015 1:45 pm ET

The $800 million match of materials maker A. Schulman Inc. and Citadel Plastics felt good from the start. “Everything in our first meetings show...    More

Market Reports

Trends in Resin Distribution

The growth of the North American resin distribution market is undeniable - and industry analysts are confident that growth will continue in 2015 and beyond.

This new report analyzes market trends and provides data on historical sales trends for PE (distribution and resellers), PolyOne Distribution figures, U.S. ethylene expansions based on shale gas and natural gas production by category to 2035.

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

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

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events