Expanded Polystyrene Prices Overview

Market Overview

Quarterly Update on Global Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
China’s export EPS supply was tightened after a short-term shutdown was announce at a manufacturing unit in South China, Domestic supply in China was also on the tighter end due to permanent closures of some plants in East China. However, supply levels in other Asian countries remained stable due to unchanged manufacturing activities. Increased construction activities in Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia were indicative of pent-up demand for the product which is expected to march higher moving into Q4.  Also, the much-awaited revival of automotive industry, triggered an upsurge in the demand across the Indian and Chinese markets. Buying interest in Malaysia was relatively strong on some recovery observed in the construction sector. In India, FOB price of Expanded Polystyrene was averaged around USD 1350 per tonne during the third quarter, resisting any further upward movement since Q2 2020.
North America
With one producer facing production issue, supplies started to tighten towards the end of Q3, thereby hampering regional availability. Apart from that, availability of EPS in North America remained sufficient to meet the market needs. Demand picked up in Q3, sufficient to pull over the supply side. Owning to long delivery time, interest in imports thinned during the quarter. On spec demand showed a sharp recovery to pre-covid levels in Q3 due to ease in Covid-related restrictions on economic activity. Strong growth seen in the residential construction, majorly in the sub urban areas and from food packaging sector helped producers in fetching marked gains.
Maintenance of high stocks and ample inventories kept the EPS supply relatively balance throughout the third quarter, when demand was showing gradual improvement. However, for a relatively short span, supply tightness was observed in August due to lower output levels maintained during majority of Q2. Also, import volumes dropped much lower than usual with pricing largely non-competitive. Regional traders observed stronger demand from white goods packaging, particularly in July and September. However, construction demand remained soft, with the industry still grappling with the pandemic impact amid fears of second wave of infections pressuring the overall activity.

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Market Analysis

Company-wise installed capacity, production volume and plant operating efficiency is captured directly from manufacturers. Import and Export volume is captured from government sources and demand for Acrylonitrile is calculated considering the production, import, export and inventory-levels on the country and regional level markets.

Pricing Analysis

Acrylonitrile price is correlated with the price trend of crude oil, demand-supply gap, Propylene and with movement across the downstream derivatives such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) etc.

Company Profile

Basic details and information on financial performance of leading global players in the Acrylonitrile market is presented in a visually captivating manner. Expansion plans and the company’s strategy is also captured to understand the vision and mission of the company to help understand the areas where companies need to focus more.

News & Deals

Daily updates on industry-specific and product-specific news, exclusive primary-based news capturing plant shutdowns/outages/closures, capacity expansions, operating rates, insights on demand-supply situation, awarding of technology licenses, new product launch and deals specifying mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and disinvestments, to help players capitalize on market opportunity.


ChemAnalyst gathers information through primary research surveys conducted with various Expanded Polystyrene manufacturers, spread across the domestic and international markets, suppliers and dealers/distributors to gain insights into value-chains and demand-supply scenario to assess the market situation. Thorough study of the company’s annual reports and secondary sources such as exhaustive search on credible paid databases, including our internal database is done to verify the information. All the collected information is analyzed, evaluated and presented in chronological order to depict a meaningful and clear picture of the concerned market.
Our dedicated team of industry experts comprehensively monitors and analyzes various aspects of the Global Expanded Polystyrene market. The team analyzes various industrial segments, strategic viewpoints and provides an analysis of the industry’s performance in the long run. This would enable our clients in efficiently plan their future investments, mitigate risk, understand the cost dynamics and strike out a balance amidst market volatility.
Critical examination of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global supply chains and shift in demand patterns with change in buying behavior of consumers across the globe.
Several ongoing development projects across industries are tracked, followed by the details of major projects in the development stage, which can positively or negatively influence Global Expanded Polystyrene market.
Pricing is captured through exhaustive primary interviews with domestic and international manufacturers, traders and importers and customers on monthly and yearly basis.

Finally, region-specific markets for Expanded Polystyrene are analyzed and region-wise demand pattern is tracked.


Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight rigid plastic in cellular form of Polystyrene. EPS is produced in a wide range of densities providing versatile physical properties. EPS is commonly used in form of a foam. The term “Styrofoam” is often used to denote the EPS foam. It is generally made through thermal extrusion of polystyrene. Due to its good thermal insulation, high compressive strength, shock absorbing properties, very low weight and resistance to moisture, it is widely used in construction and packaging applications. In construction, large quantities are used to make insulation foam in wall cavity, floor and roofs. In packaging, its great shock absorbant properties make it suitable for packaging delicate items.  Other applications include seed tray in horticulture, safety helmets, etc. Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is produced via a suspension process in the presence of a blowing agent (usually pentane) which facilitates the conversion of resin to foam during molding. The manufacturing process may be either a single step or a two-step process. The two-step process involves the passage of the blowing agent through the polystyrene beads during, or post polymerization which are then subjected to steam heating above their glass transition temperature. The one step process involves thermal extrusion of the material after blowing and is mostly used for manufacturing EPS sheets and films.