US MPG producers seek 5 cent/lb hikes in April

16 March 2010 21:49  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Two major US monopropylene glycol (MPG) producers have announced 5-cent/lb ($110/tonne, €80/tonne) price-hike proposals for 1 April, a trader on Tuesday.

The April price proposals follow price-hike attempts of 6 cents/lb for March that were said to be succeeding.

Although MPG prices are typically driven by demand, the increases so far this year were prompted by tight supply and robust feedstock propylene values, the trader said.

At least one producer was adamant that the April increase succeed.

“The rise in propylene prices has narrowed margins, so if we can’t pass on the costs to customers, we may have to look at dialing back on production,” the producer said.

MPG production had been limited in part by a just-completed 65-day turnaround of Huntsman’s 240,000 tonne/year Port Neches propylene oxide (PO) unit in Texas and by operational issues at other facilities earlier in the year.

Dow Chemical and Huntsman recently announced 80-100% sales allocations on PO and MPG until further notice because of tight supply.

Feedstock propylene values have run up strongly this year, with the chemical-grade propylene (CGP) settlement gaining 11.5 cents/lb between January and March.

Industrial-grade MPG prices through the end of February were 73-83 cents/lb, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on MPG visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Gene Lockard
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