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Asian expandable polystyrene makers have raised their offers

February 17/2011

(ICIS) -- Asian expandable polystyrene (EPS) makers have raised their offers to around $1,600/tonne (?1,184/tonne) this week, as a continued spike in feedstock costs are squeezing their margins, industry sources said on Thursday.


The offers were about $20-30/tonne higher than last week's prices of $1,570-1,580/tonne CFR (cost and freight) China, but weak demand would not allow the price increase to be implemented, they said.


The spread between EPS and feedstock styrene monomer (SM) prices had narrowed to less than $150/tonne, against a generally acceptable gap of $180/tonne that will allow EPS producers to generate decent margins.


SM prices were quoted at above $1,450/tonne CFR China this week, market sources said.


EPS prices, meanwhile, had been stagnant and demand lacklustre even after the key Chinese market re-opened for business following a week-long Lunar New Year holidays on 2-8 February.


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