Too early to gauge strength of US Dec PC increases - producers

07 December 2010 21:20  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The strength of the December price increase nominations for US polycarbonate (PC) is still under speculation, producers said Tuesday.

Major US producers Bayer MaterialScience and Styron each announced price increase nominations of 19 cents/lb ($419/tonne, €314/tonne) for 1 December and SABIC Innovative Plastics announced a 16 cents/lb price hike initiative for 20 December.

Market sources at the major producers said it was too early to tell what percentage of the initiatives would be accepted by the market. Negotiations were still ongoing on most contracts.

Several buyers said they expected the price initiative to gain about 5-10 cents/lb as demand in December had increased slightly, fuelled by the automotive segment.

However, resistance seemed to be softening, a producer said, as customers were acknowledging that raw material costs for PC had risen.

The main reason given for the price initiatives was the surge in the November benzene contract, which jumped 34-35 cents/gal to $3.42/gal.

And although the December benzene contract fell to $3.28/gal, a producer said spot prices have risen, putting upward pressure on PC prices.

Currently, US PC is at $1.50-1.65/lb as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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