Polystyrene prices on 3-month roller coaster

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AKRON, OHIO — Recent changes in North American polystyrene resin pricing are featured in this week's Material Insights video.

Regional PS prices have moved up a net of 4 cents per pound since Sept. 1. Prices surged 3 cents in both September and October before falling 2 cents in November. The moves were tied in to changes in price for benzene feedstock. Prices for that material were near $4.20 per gallon in August before climbing to around 44.40 in both September and October. They then slid to $4.10 in November.

A pair of increases to compounding and concentrate capacity in the southern U.S. also are featured in the video. South Korean materials firm Kopla will build a $15 million plant in West Point, Ga., to serve the auto market, including a nearby plant operated by Kia Motors. The Kopla plant will cover 100,000 square feet and will employ 150.

The video wraps up with news that Plastics Color Corp. has added a pair of new twin-screw extrusion lines at its plant in Asheboro, N.C. The new 40-millimeter lines were made by Steer engineering and will boost the site's concentrate capacity. Plant manager Robert Wagner said the new lines also will give the plant more flexibility and faster changeover times.