04 March 2011 23:25 [Source: ICIS news]
The February range widened at the high end by 9 cents/lb ($198/tonne, €143/tonne), as assessed by ICIS, from 102-103 cents/lb in January.
Participants described the market in February as “muddy”, and several sources expected the market to calm during March, noting that no new price initiatives had yet surfaced.
Buyers said February price-hike initiatives largely began in a range of 10-12 cents/lb, but moderated slightly downward among some producers. One producer sought no increase for the period, buyers said, widening the contract range.
Buyers suggested some producers were attempting to sell off older inventories at the low end of the range, while other sellers pursued higher pricing driven by some stronger feedstock values.
One buyer said there were too many layers of inventory to define the market price more narrowly. “The range is so crazy because one of the producers has fallen way behind on its increases,” another buyer said.
US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Sasol, Eastman, Celanese and Haltermann.
($1 = €0.72)
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