Continued upward pressure on benzene feedstock sent North American polystyrene resin prices up in September for the second consecutive month.
Prices for all grades of solid and expanded PS were up 3 cents per pound for the month, according to market sources contacted by Plastics News. Prices also had jumped 3 cents in August after being down a total of 9 cents in June and July.
The August and September hikes were connected to fluctuations in price for benzene feedstock, which is used to make styrene monomer. Benzene prices were up 26 cents to $3.34 per gallon in September. That represents an increase of more than 8 percent vs. the previous month.
North American PS prices now are up a net of 2 cents per pound and benzene prices up 27 cents so far in 2023. Global PS markets have been dealing with oversupply and low demand growth for most of the year.
For the second quarter of 2023, materials firm Trinseo reported that adjusted EBITDA for its share in the Americas Styrenics joint venture was down almost 70 percent vs. the same quarter in 2022.