By: Frank Esposito
July 3, 2014
North American prices for solid polystyrene resin fell again in June amid weak demand for that material.
Solid PS prices ticked down an average of 1 cent per pound, according to buyers and market watchers contacted by Plastics News. Prices had fallen a total of 5 cents per pound in April and May.
Those declines came after regional solid PS prices had shot up a total of 15 cents per pound in the three month December-February period.
The June price drop shadowed a decline of about 2 percent in prices for benzene feedstock, which fell to $4.48 per gallon. Benzene already has settled at $5.28 for July — an 18 percent increase — leading some to expect higher PS prices as well.
Through May, North American solid PS demand was down more than 4 percent vs. the same period in 2014, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. The market has been unable to build on the 1 percent demand growth seen for full-year 2013.
Most major solid PS end markets have seen sales declines through May. Sales to resellers and distributors are down almost 9 percent, and sales to the material’s dominant food packaging/food service sector are down almost 1 percent.