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Expandable Polystyrene (EPS) price index

This post is a summary of the global expandable polystyrene (EPS) price developments. The price developments of global expandable polystyrene (EPS) are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Expandable polystyrene (EPS) price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for global EPS prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of global expandable polystyrene (EPS) prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of expandable polystyrene (EPS)
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of global EPS prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in theexpandable polystyrene (EPS) market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) price index

 

What is EPS

EPS stands for “expanded polystyrene,” which is a type of plastic that is made from the polymer polystyrene. EPS is a lightweight, rigid, and porous material that is commonly used for insulation, packaging, and other applications where its low weight and insulating properties are beneficial.

EPS is made by expanding polystyrene beads with steam, which creates a foam-like material. The resulting EPS foam has a uniform, closed-cell structure that makes it lightweight and strong. It is also a good insulator, both thermal and acoustic, which makes it useful for a variety of applications.

EPS is commonly used for packaging fragile items, such as electronics and appliances, because it is lightweight and has good shock-absorbing properties. It is also used as an insulating material in construction, particularly in walls and roofs, to help keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition to these uses, EPS is also used in the production of foamboard, which is used for signage and in the arts and crafts industry.

 

How is EPS produced

EPS (expanded polystyrene) is produced by expanding polystyrene beads with steam. The process begins by melting the polystyrene beads, which are made from the polymer polystyrene. The melted beads are then mixed with a blowing agent, such as pentane, which is a hydrocarbon that expands when heated.

The mixture is then poured into a mold and heated, which causes the blowing agent to expand and create a foam-like material. The resulting EPS foam has a uniform, closed-cell structure that makes it lightweight and strong. It is also a good insulator, both thermal and acoustic.

The specific process used to produce EPS foam will depend on the desired size and shape of the final product. For example, EPS foam can be produced in blocks, sheets, or custom shapes by using different molds. The foam can also be modified by adding various chemicals or additives to improve its properties, such as fire resistance or impact strength.

 

What is EPS used for

EPS (expanded polystyrene) is a lightweight, rigid, and porous material that is commonly used for insulation, packaging, and other applications where its low weight and insulating properties are beneficial. Some common uses for EPS include:

Packaging

EPS is commonly used for packaging fragile items, such as electronics and appliances, because it is lightweight and has good shock-absorbing properties. It is also used as a cushioning material in the shipping industry to protect packages during transit.

Insulation

EPS is used as an insulating material in construction, particularly in walls and roofs, to help keep buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is also used as an insulating material in refrigerators and other appliances to help keep them energy efficient.

Foamboard

EPS is used in the production of foamboard, which is a lightweight, rigid material that is used for signage and in the arts and crafts industry.

Other applications

EPS is also used in a variety of other applications, including as a filler material in the automotive industry, as a flotation device in life jackets and other personal flotation devices, and as a model-making material in the film and television industry.

 

What types of EPS are there

There are several different types of EPS (expanded polystyrene) that are differentiated based on their properties and intended use. Some common types of EPS include:

White EPS

This is the most common type of EPS and is used in a wide range of applications, including as an insulating material in construction and as a packaging material. White EPS is made from polystyrene beads that are expanded with steam and has a uniform, closed-cell structure.

Gray EPS

This type of EPS is used in construction applications and has a higher density than white EPS. It is used as an insulating material in walls, roofs, and other areas where a higher level of insulation is required.

Fire-resistant EPS

This type of EPS is treated with chemicals or additives to make it more resistant to fire. It is used in construction applications where fire resistance is required, such as in walls and roofs.

Custom EPS

EPS can also be customized to meet specific requirements or applications. For example, it can be formulated to have specific physical properties, such as impact resistance or low temperature performance, or it can be produced in custom shapes or sizes.

 

How big is the EPS market

The global market for EPS (expanded polystyrene) is quite large and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. According to a market research report from Mordor Intelligence, the global EPS market was valued at around $15.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach a value of $22.3 billion by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.0% during that period.

EPS is used in a wide range of applications, including as a packaging material, an insulating material in construction, and as a raw material in the production of foamboard. The demand for EPS is driven by a number of factors, including population growth, economic development, and the increasing use of packaging and construction materials.

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market for EPS, accounting for more than half of global demand. China is the largest producer and consumer of EPS, followed by the United States and Europe.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Expansible polystyrene are the world’s 949th most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Expansible polystyrene were Germany ($438M), Netherlands ($304M), Chinese Taipei ($263M), Austria ($217M), and China ($189M).

In 2020, the top importers of Expansible polystyrene were Poland ($335M), United States ($287M), Germany ($203M), France ($150M), and Italy ($115M).

 

Further information

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Notes on the price-data

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