09 December 2009 22:47 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--First-quarter mid-cut/detergent-range fatty alcohol contracts are pressured up on strong demand, but no clear quarterly price announcements have emerged, suppliers and buyers said on Wednesday.
One supplier verified that it was seeking to move its mid-cuts up by 5-7 cents/lb ($110-154/tonne and €75-105/tonne), depending on alcohol type and customer account situations.
Strong detergent and other surfactant (cleaning agents) demand in the fourth quarter was said to be the driver of potential increases of the C12-14 alcohols.
Other sellers were not forthcoming about the size of potential price increases, although market sources said most suppliers were approaching customers on an account-by-account basis seeking to raise prices by various amounts.
Detergent-range natural and synthetic alcohol prices currently ranged 60-65 cents/lb delivered, according to global chemical and intelligence reporting service ICIS pricing.
Suppliers did not clarify why quarterly announcements were not made, but buyers suggested overall support for raising prices was weakened by swelling production capacity in Asia.
Sellers said negotiating activity was furious during the week, with expectations contracts would conclude as early as mid-December.
US domestic fatty alcohol producers include Procter & Gamble, Shell, and Cognis. Importers include Kao, VVF, Godrej and Musim Mas, among others.
Buyers and end users of mid-cut detergent range alcohols include most major detergent and surfactant producers.
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