Polystyrene: gaining traction

SIBUR experts are optimistic about prospects of the Russian polystyrene market.

The construction industry has found a way out of the stagnation, with the segment forecast for 2019 looking fairly upbeat.

The 14th International "Polystyrene and ABS Plastics 2018" Conference, attended by SIBUR, was held in Moscow in September.

Market participants discussed the most vital issues, such as stimulating demand for polystyrene, capacity growth, and product range expansion. Recycling, development of the secondary market for polystyrene, and search for new segments to use this plastic were cited among the industry's key trends. Potential applications may include packing solutions for a broad range of consumers, insulated containers for medicines, use in the automotive industry and construction of road embankments. The conference's participants also believe that the construction industry, which the Russian polystyrene market largely relies on, has found a way out of the stagnation that had been plaguing it over the recent years, with the segment forecast for 2019 looking fairly upbeat.

Sergey Latyshev, Chief Marketing Expert at SIBUR’s Plastics, Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division, outlined the positive trend in the industry by presenting data collated by SIBUR and the EPS Producers and Suppliers Association.

“Based on our combined estimates, the Russian market for expandable polystyrene (EPS) stood at 109,000 t in 2016 before shrinking by a negligible 2,000 t to 107,000 t in 2017. This year, we are starting to see a positive trend emerge in both the construction and EPS markets, so in 2018, we expect a 2–3% growth against 2017,” Sergey Latyshev commented.

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