US polystyrene (PS) contract prices rose 2 cents / lb (USD44 / t) higher in February on higher raw material costs and robust demand, ICIS reported.

Production costs for polystyrene producers increased, with a significant increase in ethylene contract prices offsetting a slight decrease in benzene contract prices.

PS demand has been strong in recent months, as the recent economic recovery has been driven mainly by demand for manufactured goods, as much travel and entertainment spending has been delayed by the pandemic.

Polystyrene supplies were relatively limited even before the winter storm that hit Texas recently. As a result of the storm, most of the US styrene manufacturing facility was closed, resulting in reduced productivity at polystyrene factories and a force majeure statement from INEOS Styrolution.

Thus, February contracts for general-purpose polystyrene (PSP / M) were 73-78 cents / lb, while contracts for high-impact polystyrene (PSP / M) were 78-83 cents / lb.

Earlier it was reported that Total Petrochemicals plans to increase the prices of polystyrene (PS) in the United States from March 1. Thus, the company intends to increase polystyrene prices by 11 cents per pound (USD243 per ton).

According to MRC’s ScanPlast, the estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics at the end of 2020 amounted to 502.63 thousand tons, which corresponds to the consumption indicator a year earlier.
Estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in December increased by 5% compared to the same month in 2019 and amounted to 47.49 thousand tons.

The main polystyrene manufacturers in the United States are INEOS Styrolution, Americas Styrenics, Total and SABIC Innovative Plastics.