The price correction of styrenics continued in May 2017. After the end of the previous boom, the styrene monomer reference contract marked its second steep drop in a row, this time by €245 ($275) a tonne. The essential feedstock’s trend was of course followed by styrenics, but producers generally did not pass on the entire cost decrease to their customers.

PS and EPS prices are back below their five-year averages, but ABS continues to fly high. High discounts and speculation that June will have seen no further significant price reductions generated a strong overall demand. Many processors purchased above their current need to build up inventories.

In June, the styrene monomer contract price trended up again: the mean value of two differently-agreed contracts was at €42.5/t ($47). In view of the styrene monomer increase, PS and EPS prices are also likely to have increased in June, while ABS continues to have more potential for moderate prices because of the strong decline of butadiene by €300/t ($337).