Eastman, Dow plan 3 cent/lb Sept price hikes for US MIBK

13 August 2010 23:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two US methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) producers announced plans to increase contract prices by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne), effective on 1 September, sources said on Friday.

Eastman cited “elevated operating costs, particularly in raw materials”, in its announcement.

Dow Chemical did not comment on its rationale for the proposed increase.

If the initiatives are broadly implemented in the market, domestic MIBK would rise to $1.05-1.06/lb, according to ICIS.

However, buyers were opposed to the initiative, and a third supplier said it was doubtful the initiative was justified, sources said.

Despite uneven upstream pricing, the MIBK market has been stable and essentially balanced in recent weeks.

One buyer said there was “plenty of MIBK around” and suggested Eastman’s rising production costs were isolated.

Sasol’s new expansion is undercutting [Eastman] and will cost Eastman volume if they bring me an increase,” one buyer said.

A producer acknowledged robust demand, but suggested a price increase might not be justified on upstream costs.

Acetone, which fell last week to the mid 40s cents/lb on balanced supply and softer demand from the solvents sector, was heard static during the current period, the producer and other sources said.

Refinery-grade propylene (RGP) for August also slipped during the week, trading at 44.25 cents/lb, down from 44.50 cents/lb a week earlier.

Other US suppliers of MIBK include Sasol, Dow Chemical and Celanese.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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