Buyers saw PS supplies fall in 2020 as the pandemic caused many distortions, including trade.
PS net exports increased in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the latest data from Eurostat.
The data showed that total polystyrene (PS) exports jumped in 2020, while imports decreased.
PS net exports increased most likely because of the shipping disruptions.
The shipping market suffered many disruptions which caused a shortage of containers, long lead times, and high costs.
As buyers struggled with long lead times and high shipping costs, they had to rely more on domestic suppliers.
And at the same time, it is possible that some countries outside of Europe had to rely more on European volumes.
While an increase in net exports of around 60,000 metric tons was not too drastic, it most certainly helped tighten the market.
And this market tightness in Europe continues in 2021.