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European PS players consider switching to PP and PET on higher prices

  • 28/02/2017 (09:26)
In Europe, PS players have started to consider switching to alternative polymers for their applications in the face of larger price hikes for this product compared with homo PP and PET offers in the region. Supported by stronger styrene prices in the region, firmer expectations dominate the market heading into March.

Since the beginning of this year, PS prices have posted increases of around €205-210/ton while homo PP and PET prices have shown relatively smaller increases of €60/ton and €80/ton, respectively during the same period.

According to weekly average levels on ChemOrbis Price Wizard, the gap between HIPS and homo PP prices on FD NWE basis is at around €625/ton while the delta between GPPS and homo PP hit €530-535/ton recently. The data also showed that the current GPPS and HIPS prices are standing €660/ton and €755/ton above the current PET prices, respectively. The delta between PS and homo PP-PET is at the highest levels since early 2014.

A trader in Italy said, “We closed our February PS deals with increases of €250/ton from January while we expect another €100/ton hikes in March. However, these increases are hampering PS consumption. Some of our customers producing food packaging for the agricultural sector have switched their production to PET.”

A buyer complained about the hefty hikes in the last three to four months and reported that they are mulling over reducing their PS production in the near term to use other polymers, which are more competitively priced as they are seeing resistance from their end- product customers.

A trader operating in France also concurred that the higher price talks for March are disrupting the PS consumption further due to the competitively-priced PP and PET cargoes.
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