US detergent alcohol Q3 contracts jump on narrow supply

07 July 2010 22:09  [Source: ICIS news]

US detergent range alcohol third-quarter contracts jumped 14-18 cents/lb ($309-397/tonne, €244-314/tonne) on narrow supply, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.

The C12-15 natural and synthetic mid-cut detergent range alcohol contracts for the third quarter were assessed at 86-97 cents/lb bulk delivered, with large buyers and synthetic prices dominating the low end of the assessment spread.

At least one importer said it had sold-out positions into August and no shipments due to arrive until early September.

Supply concerns dominated the second quarter, resulting in importers pressing for shorter-term contracts and buyers fretful about shipment arrival times in the third quarter.

Buyers confirmed re-stocking inventories after months of hand-to-mouth purchasing played a role in driving up demand.

The buy-side also said that US demand was rising for industrial and household detergent surfactants (surface-acting-agents). 

Fatty alcohol suppliers said a monthly contract period was preferred, although at this point in the year quarterly contracts still dominate.

Several small distributors said they were now buying on a monthly basis, but the volumes represented only one or two bulk loads per month and were therefore not representative of the wider US market that remains dominated by large buyers.

Domestic US natural fatty alcohol producers include Procter & Gamble and Cognis. Shell Chemical and Sasol are domestic synthetic producers.  

Fatty alcohol importers include Kao of Japan, Ecogreen and KLK.

Procter & Gamble is a multinational company and is the largest global fatty alcohol producer with facilities in Asia and the US.

($1= €0.79)

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By: Judith Taylor
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