Polystyrene industry in the midst of a down cycle

The economic slowdown in Asia and Europe is having a devastating effect on the styrene-derivative market. During 1993-97, polystyrene demand grew nearly twice the rate of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). Expandable polystyrene (EPS) demand grew at three times the GDP. For the 1997-2003 period, however, the polystyrene demand growth is expected to fall to about 1.5 times the GDP, and the demand growth for EPS is expected to fall to about two times the GDP. Today, the polystyrene and EPS industries are in the midst of a down cycle. These are the conclusions of the World Polystyrene/ EPS Analysis conducted by Chemical Market Associates Inc. (CMAI), Houston. ...

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