North American prices for solid polystyrene and PET bottle resin both fell in April as a result of lower feedstock costs.
Regional PS prices declined by an average of 5 cents per pound, taking away most of a 6 cent increase the market had seen in March. The March PS hike was the third consecutive one for that material. Those three increases sent regional PS prices up a total of 19 cents per pound.
A major price drop for benzene, which is used to make styrene monomer, affected PS prices in April. Benzene prices fell 61 cents per gallon, a drop of about 18 percent. March was an unusual month in that PS prices rose even though benzene prices declined slightly.
PS maker Americas Styrenics of The Woodlands, Texas, already has announced a PS price decrease of 2 cents per pound for May. North American PS sales through March were down around 2 percent from the same period in 2016, according to the American Chemistry Council. Domestic PS sales were down just over 2 percent for those three months, while exports increased almost 6 percent.