European general purpose polystyrene spot price holds steady as demand slowly picks up

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The European general purpose polystyrene spot price held steady this week as demand picked up slightly, according to S&P Global Platts data.

The GPPS spot price was assessed at 1,340/mt ($1,592/mt) FD NWE Wednesday, unchanged on the week, and down 10/mt from the last week of April.

Activity was slowly picking up this week, as the first week of May was quiet due to the Labor day holiday across many European countries, a trader said.

“[We are] getting some enquiries,” he said, but added the market was “still a little bit slow.”

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Buyers had minimized purchase volumes in April as they anticipated a price decline in May. As a result, converter stock were heard to be low at the end of April.

Nevertheless, other public holidays in in May were heard potentially hindering demand due to a reduction in delivery days.

In the contract market, a buyer source agreed that demand was firm.

“Demand for is strong this month,” he said.

Producers were heard cautiously lowering offers this month. The May styrene monomer contract price was fully settled at Eur1,285/mt, down Eur40/mt. However, sellers were heard resisting passing on the full monomer cost fall.

“If demand is stronger this month then that might help the producer be firmer in their pricing strategy,” the buyer source said.

The GPPS net contract price for May was assessed at Eur1,450/mt FD NWE Wednesday, unchanged on the week, and down Eur30/mt on the month as negotiations continued.

–Yuriko Kato, yuriko.kato@spglobal.com
–Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, jonathan.carter@spglobal.com

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