Prices rise and fall in waves, and in February 2020, one of these waves reached a new peak. This was due to the renewed increase in the styrene reference (up €50/t). Producers were most likely to be able to pass on the cost increase to customers at the beginning of the month.

The styrene reference for March dropped by €126/t ($141). Even though producers will try to retain a part of the cost reduction, markdowns are thus foreseeable – the crest of the wave is breaking. The coronavirus epidemic has so far had no effect on prices in German-speaking Europe but has had an impact on order size.

Some processors stocked up on materials as much as they could, while others applied the brakes sharply. Producers also felt the effects in markets such as Italy, where plant closures have already occurred. There are fears that the epidemic could also severely affect logistics.