SABIC seeks 22-cent/lb hike on US PC, 13 cents on ABS on feeds

10 March 2011 21:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--SABIC Innovative Plastics said on Thursday it is seeking price increases on acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) copolymer and polycarbonate (PC), mostly because of high feedstock costs.

The company said it proposed on 7 March a price increase of 22 cents/lb ($485/tonne, €349/tonne) for PC and 13 cents/lb for ABS, each effective on 4 April or as contracts allow.

A distributor said SABIC was unlikely to find much traction for the PC increase but might have more success with the ABS price increase.

There are also price increase nominations, each effective on 1 April, for US ABS from INEOS ABS and Styron.

INEOS’s nomination is for 5 cents/lb, while Stryon’s is for 7 cents/lb. Each is also seeking a 9 cents/lb price increase on high-heat ABS.

The ABS price increases are expected to be aided by rising costs for key feedstocks acrylonitrile (ACN) and butadiene (BD).

US ACN prices have soared to record levels, as assessed by ICIS, because of strong demand from acrylic fibre (AF), caused by a global cotton shortage.

The March US BD contract price settled 5 cents/lb higher on tightening supply and increasing demand.

As a result of rising feedstock costs for ABS, as well as high import costs and strong demand, sources expect that a portion of the ABS price increase will find traction.

However, PC demand has been described as only stable to strong, and the US March contract for benzene increased by just 4 cents/gal, although it remained at its third-highest assessed level.

Benzene is a key upstream feedstock for the chain that leads to PC.

As a result, sources expect that despite tight US PC supply, price increase nominations will have a difficult time finding traction.

Currently, US domestic ABS prices are assessed by ICIS at 141-161 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for extrusion material and 132-151 cents/lb DEL for injection material.

US spot PC prices are assessed by ICIS at 166-185 cents/lb for moulding or extrusion material.

($1 = €0.72)

To learn more about ABS or PC, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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