US acrylates contracts settle flat for June

03 June 2010 02:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters negotiated contract prices rolled over for June as weaker feedstocks halted months of upward momentum driven by tight supply, market sources said on Wednesday.

Some buyers had predicted that negotiated prices would fall proportionally along with formula pricing, which declined by 8-9 cents/lb ($176-198/tonne) (€144-162/tonne), several sources said.

But improved acrylates demand amid ongoing supply constraints counterbalanced a 12-cent/lb drop  in feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) values for May.

June CGP has been nominated down by 4 and 5 cents/lb by two US propylene producers, sources said, adding that buyers had sought reductions of up to twice that amount.

Acrylates buyers, who include paint manufacturers, said they continued to struggle with limited supply of raw materials, particularly butyl acrylate (butyl-A), sources said.

A coatings maker said its allocation of acrylates from one major producer improved from a low of 50% in May to 90% for June, but still forced the buyer to continue substitutions and reformulating paints in order to take advantage of cheaper, more available material.

US acrylates producers include Dow Chemical, BASF and Arkema Emulsion Systems.

($1 = €0.82)

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By: Larry Terry
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