The April styrene monomer reference price skyrocketed €300/tonne as a result of limited styrene available in the European market on the back of turnarounds at styrene plants during the second quarter. In response, polystyrene producers announced planned price hikes €15-20/tonne higher than the SM cost rise.
Producers had no difficulty in passing through price increases that were just ahead of the cost rise because of the severe supply restrictions.
Processors found it difficult to obtain the volume of material needed due to the limited stock levels at producers, thus making it hard to run their polymer plants as normal. Higher customer demand added to their difficulties.
The supply tightness is unlikely to end in May, but could ease by June as styrene monomer plants come back on stream and US imports arrive into high-priced Europe.
High price on General purpose PS