After the increase in costs, sellers are trying to maintain margins amid a low demand environment.
Trinseo, the global plastic and synthetic rubber producer, sets higher prices in June for its polystyrene (PS). The company says in a recent press note that from Jun 1 prices of its general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) will increase €85/mt. The company is seeking higher prices in June also for its ABS and SAN.
INEOS Styrolution also says on its website that it plans to increase prices of its styrenics polymers. These announcements come against a backdrop of higher styrene prices and an increase in economic activity. However, it is too early in the month to have a clear view on the state of demand for PS.
Nevertheless, there are early indications that demand is not so great so far in June. The panic buying that went on during the height of the pandemic is slowing down. Besides, stocks are full for all market participants.
Moreover, there is real concern that demand will not be so different in July and August and could even slow down further. Some buyers say they plan to shut early and for longer in July due to subdued activity.
Polystyrene prices started the year on a positive note after a series of decreases at the end of 2019. But the onset of the pandemic pushed down costs of raw materials. As such, prices have been falling and at times sharply since March. But June could mark the end of this pandemic induced downward trend.