25 August 2009 18:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US liquid epoxy resin (LER) spot prices remained flat as weak demand trumped rising feedstock costs, buyers said on Tuesday.
“Demand-wise, we’re down about a third [compared with last year],” a formulator said.
“Suppliers are saying it could go up, but realistically there’s no need unless the economy turns around,” the source added.
Another LER buyer agreed that North American demand was weak, but said emerging markets in Latin America and elsewhere were improving.
“Epoxy resin producers would like to get increases, but I don’t think they’ll be able to,” the source said. “There is no justification out there except that prices have been so low and they’d like to bring them back.”
The buyer reasoned that feedstock costs have not yet risen by a decisive amount because not all LER producers were pushing for price hikes.
Spot prices for imported LER were readily available at $1.00/lb ($2,205/tonne or €1,544/tonne) DEL (delivered), although prices as low as $0.98-0.99/lb were possible, buyers said.
That compares with spot prices as high as $1.50/lb DEL in January.
US chemical-grade propylene (CGP) and benzene contract prices have risen by 112% and 261%, respectively, since January, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Major US epoxy resins producers include Dow Chemical, Hexion and Huntsman.
($1 = €0.70)
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