Raw material costs drive new US epoxy resins increases

02 February 2010 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US epoxy resins suppliers announced another round of price hikes to take effect in the next month amid continued pressure from raw material costs and declining competition from overseas, sources said on Tuesday.

Dow Chemical said it would implement a 10 cent/lb ($220/tonne or €158/tonne) increase, effective 15 February or as contracts allow, while Hexion planned for an 8 cent/lb increase to take effect no earlier than 1 March.

Sources expected Huntsman to also issue an increase announcement in the near future.

“Raw material prices keep going up and demand is higher than supply right now,” a producer said. “We beat our pretty aggressive expectations for December and January.”

US liquid epoxy resins (LER) producers are enjoying stronger sales in part because Asian suppliers have pivoted back to their home markets, where prices have risen more rapidly and demand is especially strong in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays in February.

“Imports have dried up because pricing is above domestic,” a large LER buyer said. “I can get imports, but there’s not any savings.”

US LER spot prices to small-volume bulk customers were at $1.10-1.14/lb DEL (delivered) during the week ended 26 January, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

Epoxy resins feedstocks include epichlorohydrin (ECH) and bisphenol A (BPA), which in turn are produced from chemicals such as benzene, propylene and chlorine.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: David Barry
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