For the Quarter Ending June 2023
North America: USA
In the US market, the overall market fundamentals of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) remained bearish during the entire second quarter of 2023. The price of Expanded Polystyrene Grey DEL Texas (USA) showcased a decrement of roughly 5.5% during the entire Q2 time. In the first month of Q2, reduced demand from the construction (insulation) and packaging sectors resulted in weak exports of containers, with its increase in the inventories in the domestic ports occurring, consequently opening the doors for the suppliers to offer lower bids for the commodity and force sellers to provide discount on the material. Despite this, a consistent inflow of material left buyers hesitant in May due to high inventories as demand recovery fell short of expiation during this month. With it, sluggish trading activities have been observed for this commodity. Additionally, In May, the downfall of major banks in the USA caused a drastic effect on the US market condition and motivated buyers to hold back from placing large orders. Furthermore, in the month of June, the EPS market remained affected by these factors and failed to regain momentum. Additionally, weak feedstock styrene cost pushes the sellers to keep the price softer to maintain the market economically.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) market has witnessed a notable decline during the second quarter of 2023. The price of Expanded Polystyrene FOB Qingdao (China) experienced a significant decrement of approximately 6% within Q2. A decrease in demand from prominent sectors, such as the packaging and plastic industries, primarily triggered the market's initial descent. As the second month of Q2 unfolded, the EPS market condition remained stable in a state of moderate, with businesses having already secured a substantial volume of product in the preceding month, ensuring a well-suppled region. However, the month of June brought another challenge, as demand from downstream industries experienced a further decline in China. Despite attractive spot price offers, buyers approached with caution, as an abundance of affordable inventories within the domestic market influenced their decision-making. This led sellers to resort to discounts to stimulate transactions. Adding to the complexities of the eps market, a decline in export activities and weak feedstock styrene prices posed additional pressure on the EPS market sentiments. Weak crude oil prices also played a pivotal role in supporting the downward trajectory of EPS prices in the Chinese region.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) has experienced a noticeable decline in the second quarter of 2023 in the European market. The price of Expanded Polystyrene FD Rotterdam (Netherlands) showcased a decrement of approximately (5%) within Q2. At the beginning of Q2, the price of EPS showcased a declining price trend in the European region, fueled by a decrease in demand from the packaging and Insulation sector. Coming to the second month of Q2, the market fundamentals remained moderate as businesses had already procured a substantial amount of the product in the previous month, and the region was well supplied with the availability of the product. Furthermore, in the month of June, there was again a decline in demand from the downstream industries in the European countries has witnessed. Despite the lower spot price offers, buyers were hesitant to place high-volume orders amid the Overflow of Cheap inventories in the domestic market, and the sellers were bound to offer discounts to increase market transactions. The market remained hampered by slipping demand coupled with fluctuating feedstock Styrene prices. Economic uncertainty and recession fear in the European region also continued to govern market sentiments.
For the Quarter Ending March 2023
Expanded Polystyrene costs have fallen during Q1 of 2023, and as a result, there hasn't been much fluctuation in the cost of the product across the American market. For the remaining months of the quarter, this offers a continuation of low-price volatility. Expanded Polystyrene prices were seen to be steady on a downward note in the US market in March. The US labor shortage and supply chain issues further exacerbated the situation. Expanded Polystyrene was available in larger quantities from regional traders and suppliers than the market's surplus. Reports state that the downstream inquiries coincided with a decline in the offtakes and production rates.
The Expanded Polystyrene market exhibited unfavorable market sentiments throughout the first quarter of 2023. Prices for Expanded Polystyrene remained low as a result of fluctuating regional market demand and changing upstream crude oil prices on the global market. The price of Expanded Polystyrene continued to decline during the quarter, despite a little stabilization of the inflation rate in the European region. As the quarter came to a close, freight rates in the European region, fell, which affected the general tone of the market and lessened the pressure on prices brought on by growing polymer prices. Styrene and Polymer industries showcased slow demand impacting the final prices of Expanded Polystyrene in the European market.
Expanded Polystyrene consumption in the Asian Pacific market experienced a considerable decline in the first quarter of 2023. However, the only criteria considered for downstream procurement was the demand, which remained mostly weak during the quarter. The slowness of Indian queries was also a result of the prolonged weak trading environment. As a result, business in the Southeast Asian markets remained sluggish, and Chinese traders continued to exercise cautiousness since they were aware that foreign companies were offering discounts on their goods. A series of downturns in upstream prices that occurred in Q1 also helped companies increase production and later stockpile, which led to a surplus of supply in the region.
For the Quarter Ending December 2022
In the North American region, the market sentiments of Expanded Polystyrene fluctuated throughout the Fourth quarter on account of the slow demand outlook. In the initial months of Q4 2022, the price of feedstock Styrene was stagnant, which kept the downstream EPS prices on the lower side. The regional mid-quarter sales trend in the automotive industry steadied and therefore caused an increase in operational rate, which kept prices stable. In December, as the US market's production slowed down owing to storm Elliot and the Christmas holidays, prices started to fall toward the conclusion of the quarter. The final prices of EPS in the North American region were impacted proportionally by the drop in demand from car tyre makers. The EPS at the conclusion of the fourth quarter was 2455/MT DEL Texas.
The market dynamics for Expanded Polystyrene fell hurriedly in the fourth quarter of 2022 as demand for the material fell in China. China maintained calm during the quarter as COVID lockdown restrictions were implemented by government officials. Feedstock prices in the area have an impact on both the oversupply of the product and its cheap production costs. The price of EPS at the beginning of the quarter has dropped significantly, and the demand prognosis is still dim. Suppliers only saw a slight decline in product inquiries in the last quarter as buyers tended to adopt a wait-and-see attitude due to the impending new year. The market prices for EPS were estimated to be USD 1545/MT FOB Qingdao toward the end of the quarter.
The overall market trend of Expanded Polystyrene moved southwards on the back of declining demand for the product from the automotive and construction industries. New orders decreased during the quarter because of the inflammatory rate and rising energy prices, which became one of the reasons Trinseo shut down its operations in Europe. As a result of the European Union's oil price cap, fuel, and energy prices have increased in the European market. Availability of adequate feed and manufacturing facilities for end use, together with heightened supply at the port in Hamburg, Germany. The prices of EPS kept falling as the holiday season drew near, despite an increase in feedstock styrene prices. This was because demand was weak.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
In Q3, Expanded Polystyrene prices increased as American Styrene's, one of the major producers of Expanded Polystyrene, declared a jump in the material's price, which substantially affected final local prices. The demand from the packaging sector and for thermoplastic insulated containers also continues to boost market sentiments for Expanded Polystyrene in the US market. The market dynamics for US-Expanded Polystyrene turned negative during August week due to falling feedstock prices. Inflated Polystyrene production costs decreased together with the price of domestic crude oil. Demand for goods made of Expanded Polystyrene has declined in the US market due to high commodity prices forcing end users to prioritize their needs.
The price of Expanded Polystyrene in the APAC region continued to decline during the third quarter of 2022. The decline in crude prices in the global market significantly influences the Expanded Polystyrene market sentiments. Expanded Polystyrene prices were impacted proportionally by the continued decline in feedstock Styrene pricing in the Chinese market. While the demand for the product from downstream industries like food packaging and electrical appliances remained sluggish, the Chinese market displayed a low product manufacturing rate of Expanded Polystyrene throughout the week. Additionally, the demand for packaging and insulation for electrical appliances is continuing to drop in India, which has an immediate influence on the price of Expanded Polystyrene.
The European market's prices for Expanded Polystyrene continue to fall this quarter due to the general inflation of commodity prices. The main factor influencing pricing trends for Expanded Polystyrene was high production costs. The severe heat waves in Germany raised energy costs which hampered the production rates during the third quarter. The European Union's political restrictions made it difficult for crude oil and gasoline to be transported freely from their source nations, consequently increasing the cost of producing Expanded Polystyrene. In addition, the Expanded Polystyrene price was impacted by the price of feedstock Styrene in the German market, which remained on the lower end throughout the quarter. Producers cut their output rates due to weaker demand and higher utility prices.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
The overall market trend of Expanded Polystyrene remained influential in the North American market. Major players of expanded Polystyrene quoted the prices as USD 3315 per MT, Grey DEL Texas, the USA, towards the quarter-end. Compared with Q1 of 202, the prices declined in the second quarter due to a lack of feed supply from Asian countries. The primary factor impacting the prices is the inclined prices of feed and styrene in the regional market. Crude oil prices remained on the high edge, significantly impacting the Expanded Polystyrene market. The demand from the packaging and food sectors remained active throughout the quarter. Moreover, giant Expanded Polystyrene producers increased the regional market prices. These facets governed the market sentiments of Expanded Polystyrene in the North American market.
Second-quarter of 2022 showcased stagnancy in the Asia-Pacific market compared with Q1. The prices got assembled at USD 1800 per MT, FOB Qingdao, China, towards the quarter-end. Countries like China, India, and South Korea faced higher crude oil prices, rising feedstock, and styrene prices. Furthermore, ongoing COVID restrictions in China halted the operational rate of Expanded Polystyrene as the demand also remained quiet. High electricity prices and labor shortage became the key factors for the high production cost of Expanded Polystyrene in Asia-Pacific. Downstream sectors such as packaging and construction remained static, influencing Expanded Polystyrene's market prices.
The market sentiments of Expanded Polystyrene surged throughout the second quarter on the back of brisked commodity prices in the European market. Major manufacturers quoted the prices as USD 2949 per MT, FD Hamburg, Germany, towards the quarter-end. Political sanctions implied by the European Union restricted smooth transportations of crude oil and gasoline from supplying countries, raising the production cost of Expanded Polystyrene. Major manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene faced supply and gasoline shortages, leading to high production costs. AS a result, these manufacturers, such as INEOS Styrolution, raised the prices of Expanded Polystyrene in the regional market. Strikes in different European countries halted the production activity of Expanded Polystyrene in the regional market.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In the first quarter of 2022, prices of Expanded Polystyrene witnessed an increment of approximately 22% in comparison to Q4 of 2021. Other factor during the market of Expanded Polystyrene is the major downstream sectors requiring. Substantial pick-up in market activities in the North American region directly impacted the demand for Expanded Polystyrene from majority of the segments. Expanded Polystyrene was widely consumed for applications such as packaging and insulation throughout Q1-2022. The prices of Expanded Polystyrene were quoted at USD 2760/MT, DEL Texas USA in the month of January.
In Q1 of 2022, the market of Expanded Polystyrene surged by 18% in comparison with Q4 of 2021 owing to the increased feedstock Styrene monomer prices due to the political stress between Russia and Ukraine. Apart from increased prices, supply shortage occurred, forcing the manufacturers to boost the production margins in order to cater to strong offtakes from end users. Segments such as construction, packaging, insulation have shown upsurge in due to substantial market activities. Limited availability of containers led to supply disruption and high freight charges in the Asia Pacific market. Towards the start of quarter, the prices of Expanded Polystyrene were assessed at USD 1882/MT, Ex-Mumbai, India and USD 2045/MT Ex-Mumbai, India in the first quarter end of 2022.
Prices of Expanded Polystyrene observed mixed sentiments throughout the first quarter of 2022 owing to the increase in feedstock Styrene Monomer prices. The crude oil surge led to high production cost of Benzene which is an upstream of Styrene in the European regions. When compared with Q4 of 2021, the prices in Q1 of 2022 saw a surge by nearly 8% because of firm demand from downstream segments such as packaging. Major supplying countries like China went under lockdown leading to halt in the production, consequently causing a supply shortage. Prices of Expanded Polystyrene were observed at USD 2636/MT, FD Rotterdam, Netherland in the month of January and USD 2572/MT, FD Rotterdam, Netherland towards the quarter end.
For the Quarter Ending December 2021
In Q4, the costs of Expanded Polystyrene saw to be slipped contrasted and Q2 and Q1. The costs hit their most reduced somewhat recently of December. Expanded Polystyrene trades declined in the astute exchanges with China and Europe amid US domestic stock lengthdue to feeble derivative Polystyrene operating rate. The feedstock Polystyrene prices dropped to $2140/ton GPPS FAS Houston. One more factor that come play is the dominance of Taiwan in the feedstock Styrene trade in the globe. However, the solid freight charges and demand disintegration fell the US Expanded Polystyrene prices on the lookout. Demand from downstream insulation and packaging of electrical goods industries has mellow in this quarter as irregularity in volume admissions has been seen from key Expanded Polystyrene producers.
In Q4, the prices of Expanded Polystyrene surged to the new heights with inclined trajectory compared with Q2 and Q3. Increase in feedstock Styrene prices due to its shortage gives boost to the prices. Towards the end of the year, the prices of Expanded Polystyrene reached to $1740/ton Ex-Mumbai. Consistent surge in raw material cost and rising demand from domestic end user segment pushed up the price of EPS in this region. Upsurged market sentiments under optimism of forthcoming New Year, increased the demand for the product. In addition, raw material prices are also rising on the back of soaring freight cost and limited availability of shipping containers. There wide use in Foam and construction industry gave support to sale volume seems to be recovering in this quarter.
In Q4, the prices followed the upper trend with increase in feedstock and freight charges in the European regions. In December, European standard Expanded Polystyrene prices increases despite lower demand toward the end of the year holiday period and limited cost development. Tight supply because of limited feedstock accelerated the prices of the product. On 20 December, Total declared force majeure for feedstock Polystyrene production in Carling, France due to strike at Arkema which affected the market and surged the price in the domestic market. Production outage and higher Benzene cost impacted several European facilities.