These increases were driven mostly by favourable raw material timing, offset partially by unfavourable price lag, higher margin in Feedstocks and Latex Binders, and higher sales volumes across the Performance Materials division. Favourable impacts were partially offset by styrene outages in Feedstocks and Americas Strenics, lower volume and margin in Basic Plastics, as well as lower margin in Performance Plastics.
Expansion for solution-styrene butadiene rubber and new acrylonitrile butadiene styrene capacity in China are also on schedule, said Chris Pappas, Trinseo president and CEO.
"We are making excellent progress on our Performance Materials growth initiatives as reflected in our results this quarter," he said. "Latex Binders is improving via higher margins and cost actions. Synthetic Rubber and Performance Plastics remain strong as well."
Latex Binders increased net sales by 38 percent to $289 million, driven primarily by the pass through of higher raw material costs. Higher sales volume increased revenue by 4%, excluding the recently divested Latin America business.
Synthetic Rubber net sales rose to $163 million, a 60% increase from 2016, because of the pass through of higher raw material costs as well as record SBBR and emulsion-styrene butadiene rubber sales volume. Strong sales of contractual volume as well as spot sales to Asia and a continued strong tire market drove the highest quarter sales volume in company history.
Performance Plastics net sales increased to $185 million for the quarter, a change of 9%. Higher sales volume increased revenue by 13%, excluding the recently divested Latin America business, driven by higher volumes to the automotive market in Europe and North America.
Basic Plastics grew to $381 million from $343 million in 2016 through the pass through of higher raw material costs partially offset by lower polystyrene sales volume.
Feedstocks increased to $86.9 million from $71.1 million last year, with higher styrene prices partially offset by lower styrene-related sales volume.