The base forecasts in May point to falling prices in the short term, due to seasonal trends, a retreat from the peak, and softening downstream markets. Later in the year, prices remain supported by disrupted logistics and elevated energy prices. A major downward correction is unlikely during the forecast period.
A higher price scenario is becoming less likely. Despite the ongoing limited availability, signs are increasing that activity is slowing down because of softening downstream markets. Therefore, it is unlikely that players will experience another spike in prices.
However, with the war ongoing, it is highly probable that energy prices could rebound and push polystyrene prices up again. A lower price scenario is gaining momentum. Inflationary pressures are building and likely contributing to the current slowdown in activity downstream, a trend that is happening across many polymer markets.
A slump in demand is possible in the next few months. This could cause a significant reduction in prices. Moreover, as energy prices have retreated from the peak, the low demand during the summer could fuel big decreases.
The polystyrene market remains challenging due to offsetting trends. On the one hand signs are increases of softening demand, on the other supply issues are ensuring that availability remains limited, which together with firm costs should prevent a major decreases.