The decline in styrenics prices is coming to an end. In line with the slight fall of the styrene monomer reference by €15 ($17) per tonne, PS and EPS recorded only slight decreases in January 2019.

After the turn of the year, many processors took advantage of the favourable price level to replenish inventories. In the case of PS, buyers did not always acquire the desired volumes because the order books were already closed in mid-month – any discounts on PS thus tended to be lower than those on EPS and ABS.

In February, at least the prices for PS and EPS were likely to trend up again in the slipstream of the styrene reference, which went up by €20/t ($23) to €995/t ($1,125).  

However, the increase is unlikely to have been so significant that it would spoil the buying mood, and prices will still have been modest. Larger surcharges should be expected once the maintenance season for styrene plants begins in spring.