08 January 2008 21:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A proposed North American price increase for basic liquid epoxy resin (LER) was being put off as seasonally slow demand kept the market well balanced, buyers said on Tuesday.
“In the US, demand is softer than producers were expecting,” said an LER buyer for a coatings manufacturer.
A 6 cent/lb ($132/tonne) price hike proposed by one supplier for 1 January was being delayed, customers said. Other suppliers had not yet announced pricing initiatives on LER.
Distributors said there were isolated instances of competitive activity for both bulk and drum market segments.
One distributor said a competitor was selling drummed LER at liquidation prices. Another distributor said a domestic supplier was competing for first-quarter bulk contract business, resulting in prices about 1 cent/lb lower.
The LER market was not expected to escape its winter doldrums before late February, distributors said.
A US LER producer said that January orders looked strong, speculating that buyers needed to replenish stocks after staying out of the market in November and December.
Bulk LER prices for spot customers were assessed at $1.56-1.62/lb DEL (delivered), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.Major US LER suppliers include Dow Chemical, Hexion, Huntsman and Nan Ya.
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