01 October 2007 17:47 [Source: ICIS news]
By Gabriela Wheeler
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--US producers of acrylic acid and acrylic esters are confident fourth-quarter price increases will be implemented due to strong market fundamentals.
Although feedstock propylene contract prices softened in September, numbers were anticipated to strengthen again in October on unexpected supply issues in the ?xml:namespace>
Aside from pressure emanating from the propylene side, manufacturers said that acrylate esters were exposed to the added impact of climbing oxo-alcohols prices.
Oxo-alcohols have been in short supply globally since the beginning of the year, and prices have increased significantly.
Producers also said that a snug supply situation exerted additional pressure on acrylic acid and its esters prices.
Several planned and unplanned acrylic acid and its esters shutdowns have resulted in reduced availability in recent weeks, sources said. An outage at American Acryl and a one-week scheduled turnaround at a BASF unit in early September have contributed to the market tightness.
Acrylic acid and acrylate esters production at the American Acryl plant in
Consumers were anticipated to resist the increments, as many believed that supply of acrylic acid and most acrylate esters was adequate.
Sources on the buy-side also said that requirements from some downstream segments such as the construction and housing industries have been lacklustre, with a recovery not expected any time soon.
BASF said it will increase its prices for acrylic acid and acrylate esters 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne) in North and
BASF said it would increase its prices for glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and methyl acrylate (MA), ethyl acrylate (EA), n-butyl acrylate (BA), 2-ethyl hexyl acrylate (2-EHA) as far as existing contracts permit.
The price of third-quarter GAA, free delivered, was 104-108 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing; MA was at 106-110 cents/lb; EA was at 104-109 cents/lb; and 2-EHA was at 110-115 cents/lb.
The increases are driven by inadequate margins and continued cost pressure, BASF said in a statement, a result of high feedstock values throughout the year.
BASF joins other suppliers in seeking increases for the fourth quarter.
Dow Chemical announced in mid-September it would increase acrylate prices in several regions, with
Rohm and Haas also proposed a 5 cents/lb increment for glacial acrylic acid and acrylate esters, effective 1 October in the US and Canada as contract terms allow.
Similarly, Sasol called for a 5 cents/lb hike on butyl acrylate and 3 cents/lb on ethyl acrylate.
Acrylic acid and its derivatives are used for binders in varnishes and paints, architectural coatings, adhesives, fibre binders, other products for the construction industry and coatings for the paper industry.
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