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Back Price Trends Ongoing Trends August PS up €100/t but producers hit by weaker margins

August PS up €100/t but producers hit by weaker margins

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August polystyrene (PS) prices have increased by €100/tonne ($145/tonne), following the €121-129/tonne increase in monthly styrene monomer barge contracts, but margins have been reduced in 2011, several producers said on Wednesday.

Main purpose polystyrene (GPPS) is now trading at a net price of €1,350/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up €100/tonne from the July level, and INEOS Styrenics has announced a €30/tonne increase for its September business.September styrene contracts have not yet been settled and other producers are waiting for the outcome of negotiations before announcing September plans for PS pricing.

PS prices tend to follow the styrene contract curve closely, but the spread between the monomer and polymer has been reduced.“In the past three to four months we have lost 50% of our margin on PS,” said a major producer. “

INEOS Styrenics calculated its loss of margin to be similar in the same period.The margin for high impact polystyrene (HIPS) has been hit harder than for GPPS due to the high cost of polybutadiene (PBD), used in the manufacture of HIPS. Sources said the percentage of PBD amounts to 8-10% in HIPS production.

Butadiene (BD) prices have soared in recent months, showing some relief only in the latest contract settlement for September, when it lost €125/tonne, landing at €2,400/tonne FD NWE. In January the BD contract stood at €1,340/tonne FD NWE.


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