30 March 2009 21:35 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--The US glycerine market has left the worst behind it and is set for a rebound in demand and prices, buyers and sellers said on Monday.
Talking from the sidelines of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) conference, glycerine market sources said that business is starting to pick up, although demand is still down by 10% compared with the year before.
Two producers said even the hard-hit polyols market, which uses glycerine for foam manufacturing, had been showing signs of life after a moribund first quarter.
“They overbought in the fourth quarter and are now getting back in the market,” one producer said.
However, more glycerine orders could lead to increased pricing as the availability of feedstock crude glycerine continues to shrink, sources said.
Production of biodiesel, fatty acid and fatty alcohols – all of which generate crude glycerine as a co-product – had fallen sharply, leading refined glycerine producers to fight for access to feedstocks.
“Availability is falling,” a crude glycerine distributor said. “You won’t see any drastic price increase, but it will steadily rise.”
Crude glycerine was assessed at 5-10 cents/lb ($110-220/tonne or €82-165/tonne), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
The NPRA conference runs through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.75)
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