In Egypt, the local PS producer E-Styrenics, who had started their GPPS production at the beginning of January 2013, is now readying for commercial HIPS production by August as per the pricing service of ChemOrbis. The producer has 200,000 tons/year of production capacity, divided evenly between GPPS and HIPS, and they were initially planning to spare 25% of their production for the local market and 75% of their production for the export market. E-styrenics started commercial production in January of this year and offered off-spec GPPS to the market until March when they started their prime material deliveries.
Prior to the recent political turmoil in Egypt, which started with the June 30 protests and resulted in a military coup which deposed former President Mohamed Morsi, E-Styrenics told ChemOrbis that they were planning to go ahead with their commercial production for HIPS. A source from the company said, “We are currently producing GPPS, but we are producing in only one of our two lines since the second line is undergoing test production of HIPS.
For GPPS, we hold sufficient quantities to meet our June commitments but we do not have enough material for our July transactions. Regarding our pricing policy, we do not think that he high dollar parity will affect us that greatly since we purchase our raw materials in dollars and sell in dollars. Prices might see some increases but we will continue to follow the global trend when deciding on our prices.”
Players in Egypt mostly voice stagnant market activities owing to the political unrest in the country. Many report no changes on offer levels, especially in the local market, while some say that there are a limited number of active players and that they are only making purchases on a hand-to-mouth basis. A trader said, “E-Styrenic’s GPPS supplies are becoming limited although their off-grade materials are still widely available.” Following the recent political events, market players now wonder if E-Styrenics will be able to proceed with their initial plans for commercial HIPS production.
Meanwhile, in the nearby Turkish market, where Egyptian PS materials are available, players voice their worries about delays from Egypt due to the unrest according to ChemOrbis. A packaging converter reported delays for his Egyptian PS cargoes, adding “Our previous cargoes are yet to arrive. However, when considering the turmoil in Egypt, we think that we might have to wait for a while more.” A trader also commented, “We heard that Egyptian materials might not be offered widely in July and this situation may tighten supplies in Turkey.”