10 October 2008 22:02 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--As buyers pushed for US propylene glycol (PG) price cuts, pent-up demand could provide unexpected price support this winter, a producer said on Friday.
Buyers said producers had used shutdowns amid hurricanes Gustav and Ike as an excuse to delay price cuts and that the weakening propylene market should result in a drop in PG.
However, a potassium shortage could shore up PG demand ahead of the coming winter de-icing season and keep prices close to current levels, the producer said.
The lack of potassium was limiting the production of potassium acetate, which is often used in place of PG to de-ice airport runways, since both products are considered environmentally benign.
With the chief alternative to PG being limited by a lack of feedstock, there could be a significant demand this winter in large US cities in the north, the producer said.
US antifreeze-grade PG (PGAF) prices were at 104.5-107.0 cents/lb ($2,304-2,359/tonne, €1682-1,722/tonne) FOB (free on board) East of the Rockies, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
US PG producers include Arch Chemicals, Dow Chemical, Huntsman and LyondellBasell.
($1 = €0.73)
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