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In January 2021, polystyrene prices increased by 5% compared to December 2020, and are still growing. Both the rapidly increasing prices and the great interest in the product meant that producers introduced delivery limits – from February 26 to March 3, polystyrene was unavailable.
The increasing prices of polystyrene were caused by the increase in the prices of styrene – the basic material used in the production of polystyrene, according to the producers reporting for the money.pl portal. The prices of styrene increased by 30%, which is the highest jump in this raw material in history. The price hike for styrene alone has several reasons, explains Alexander Popov, product manager of the Construction Group at Leroy Merlin. This was due to the closure of two of the world’s factories in Texas, as a result of an extremely harsh winter this year, and the closure of the Lyondell factory in the Netherlands for 2 weeks. Another reason is the restriction of the supply of styrene from the USA to China, where the demand for this raw material is currently enormous – so large, in fact, that China is buying it at any price from Europe, according to the specialist.
In the Leroy Merlin stores and in the Mrówka and Profi stores belonging to the PSB Group, there is no problem with the availability of polystyrene. However, some minimal price increases are recorded, 1.1% in January and 2.4% in February, year on year, according to Marzena Mysior-Szczuk, Chief Public Relations Coordinator at PSB Handel, for the money.pl portal. She also adds that due to weather conditions in January and February, major investments have not yet been made – so product availability at the above stores has not decreased.
Tomasz Lingo, technical advisor from HurtowniaStyropianu.pl, claims that although polystyrene actually records large increases, it is not isolated – the prices of OSB and steel are increasing, and in the future the prices of products such as adhesives, paints, and plasters will go up by at least 5%. This forecast is based on the price increases of packaging and butyglycol or modified acrylic resins for the production of professional paints, the prices of which have jumped by up to several percent, the specialist explains. The analysis of the PSB Group also confirms the increase in the prices of materials – in January 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, the prices of building materials increased by an average of 1.8%, although some product groups recorded even double-digit increases.