PS up 6 cents on feedstock prices, stronger demand

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 6, 2014 2:26 pm ET
Updated: February 10, 2014 5:24 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Polystyrene, Materials Suppliers, United States, Mexico, Canada
Companies & Associations American Chemistry Council

North American solid polystyrene resin prices continued their recent surge in January, climbing an average of 6 cents per pound.

Regional PET bottle resin prices, however, headed in the other direction, dropping an average of 1 cent per pound in January amidst weak seasonal demand.

The PS hike was tied into higher prices for benzene feedstock, as well as to surprisingly strong demand. Benzene prices closed at $4.84 per gallon in January – up 8 percent from December.

A 9 percent November-December benzene price hike had allowed solid PS prices for December to increase by an average of 4 cents per pound. The 10-cent PS price jump in December-January has taken some buyers and market watchers by surprise, especially since total PS price volatility for 2013 – including increases and decreases – totaled only 16 cents, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart.

Recent PS price hikes also have been supported by demand growth – something which has been rare in the North American PS market. Regional demand grew 1.1 percent in 2013 – according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington - marking the first increase in PS demand since 2011 and only the second year-on-year demand increase in the last decade.

Higher prices and competition from other resins had reduced regional PS sales – including EPS - from 6.8 billion pounds in 2004 to 5.4 billion pounds in 2012. Solid PS end market growth in 2013 came from the consumer/institutional (up 1.7 percent) and Food Packaging/Food Service (up 1.5 percent) end markets.

North American PS makers now are working to raise prices by another 4 cents per pound for January. Market watchers told Plastics News that recent erosion in spot process for benzene might make it difficult for producers to secure all of that increase.

In PET, cold winter weather in much of the U.S. sapped beverage demand, sending prices down a penny. Lower feedstock prices could send PET bottle resin prices down even further in February, market watchers said.

North American PET demand growth for 2013 was estimated at no higher than 1-2 percent. Recent growth has been limited because of bottle lightweighting and a societal move away from carbonated soft drinks in favor of bottled water — which uses less PET per bottle — and other healthier drinks.

The regional PET market also enjoyed less 2013 volatility when compared to recent years. Total PET price volatility for the year came in at 12 cents.

 


Comments

PS up 6 cents on feedstock prices, stronger demand

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 6, 2014 2:26 pm ET
Updated: February 10, 2014 5:24 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

RPC expansion provides the space needed for continued growth

September 22, 2014 11:46 am ET

MORGANTOWN, PA. — Success, over time, created a challenge for RPC Bramlage-Wiko USA Inc. in this rural Eastern Pennsylvania town....    More

Image

TenCate materials help new amphibious sport aircraft take off

September 22, 2014 4:13 pm ET

TenCate Advanced Composites is supplying materials used in a new consumer sport plane made by ICON Aircraft.    More

Image

Breakaway success in Hollywood means growth for Smooth-On

September 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

With the company “bursting at the seams” according to its co-owner, Smooth-On Inc. is moving from an 80,000-square-foot facility to a...    More

Image

Consumers want more function, less waste from their caps

September 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

In our daily lives, we always want more from the products we use, and dispensing taps and fitments can be a key part of that equation.    More

Image

New medical firm buys Clairson Plastics

September 19, 2014 4:33 pm ET

Custom injection molder Clairson Plastics is being sold to a new start-up that plans to dive into the medical market with a new dialyzer, a key compon...    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

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

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events