Resin hikes coming for US boat, home builders

09 April 2008 18:11  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Boat and home builders will see a round of price hikes in the next few weeks for composite resins, including increases confirmed on Wednesday by Hexion.

Hexion plans to increase the price of all unsaturated polyester (UPR) and vinyl ester resins by 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) effective for products shipped on or after 1 May, said Doug Graff, vice president of composite polymers.

Graff said he could not comment on the reasons for the price hike because of legal considerations.

Hexion did not release the base prices for the materials.

UPR is a major feedstock for fibreglass composite, a leading material used in the manufacture of recreational boats and in housing construction.

Two other firms, Cook Composites and Polymers (CCP) and AOC, have announced similar price hikes to take effect later this month, according to company statements.

CCP said its rate hike would apply to all orders and was based on "both the weakening US dollar and the interconnected increasing prices of oil, energy, transportation and petrochemical feed stocks".

AOC said the increases would apply to all US exports.

A UPR market source explained that demand for the resin has declined by double-digit percentages for two years in a row.

Plant utilisation also is down, increasing the fixed cost of production. Because the volume has dropped it is not possible to cut costs enough to absorb raw material, freight, and energy cost increases, the source said.  

A feedstock for UPR, maleic anhydride (MA), has also seen rampant price increases due to rising fuel costs.

An MA producer said on Tuesday that the cost of butane has jumped 60% percent in the past year.

Butane rose from $1.13/gal at the end of March 2007 to $1.80/gal at year's end, he said. Butane was at $1.89/gal on 14 March, according to global chemical intelligence service ICIS pricing.


By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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