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Disposable container ban How will it impact the Polystyrene market

Disposable container ban How will it impact the Polystyrene market

  • 14-Apr-2022 5:34 PM
  • Journalist: Li Hua

Polystyrene is a vigorously used consumer product made up of Styrene Monomer. Being light-weight, sustainable, and easy to use, Polystyrene has become a significant choice in the downstream sectors. The increasing crude oil prices due to the ongoing political conflict between Russia and Ukraine escalated the prices of feedstock Benzene and ethylene, which are the upstream elements of Styrene Monomer. The prices of Polystyrene were quoted as USD 1540/ton, FOB Qingdao China, on 8th April.

Banning single-use plastic was a major leap taken by many countries such as the USA, India, China, France, and many more. In the Asia-Pacific region, China is the primary supplier of Polystyrene. Strong demand from food packaging amidst Omicron infection became the driving force for price buoyancy in the Asian market. Furthermore, as an ill-effect of lockdown in the country, the production scale of Polystyrene declined in the market, leading to a price hike of Polystyrene. However, the ban on disposable plastic containers was not successful as downstream sectors such as food services have been impacted vigorously and are finding it hard to get an alternative to Polystyrene containers. These facets have put the Polystyrene manufacturers in turmoil and forced them to increase the production cost of Polystyrene. Major issues raised by the consumers is the lack of sustainability and shelf-life of other alternatives during the time of delivery of any product. In addition, one of the major players in Styrene Monomer, Zhejiang petrochemicals, temporarily halted the production as the production plant is under maintenance, leading to a supply shortage in the domestic market. In the North American market, robust demand from construction and home appliances positively impacted the market sentiments towards Polystyrene. Moreover, uncertainty in the supply chain has led to Polystyrene's higher production cost.

As per ChemAnalyst, Polystyrene prices may stagnate in upcoming weeks due to crippling demand from end-use sectors and availability of supply to cater to domestic demand. Variations in the prices of Polystyrene may occur owing to the varying prices of feed, benzene, and ethylene.

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