US acrylates contract prices roll over for March

17 March 2011 22:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices settled flat in March from the previous month as feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) weakened, market sources said on Thursday.

Although a US supplier of ethyl acrylate (ethyl-A) and butyl acrylate (butyl-A) had earlier announced March increases of 15 cents/lb ($331/tonne, €238/tonne), those efforts were not considered representative of the broader market.

The domestic contract price range for glacial acrylic acid remains at 1.38-1.43 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS, the same range settled at in February after rising by 8 cents/lb from January.

“We did roll over prices into March as raw materials are relatively stable, but we expect demand to continue to get even stronger with coatings season upon us,” one producer said.

Only one US producer had announced April price-hike initiatives so far.

In a letter to customers, Dow Chemical said it would raise acrylates prices by 7 cents/lb for 1 April, citing strong demand, anticipated higher costs for raw materials and the need to maintain re-investment pricing levels.

Another producer said that although it once expected feedstock propylene to soften well into April and beyond, oil and natural gas prices were more likely to continue driving up refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices, which pushes CGP values.

The producer said it would pursue higher acrylates prices if raw material prices continue to remain elevated or increase, and if acrylate demand stays strong.

However, a buyer described the acrylates market in March as “boring”, and insisted prices would soften on lengthening acrylates supply.

The major US acrylates suppliers are Dow Chemical, Arkema, BASF and Sasol.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on acrylic acid and acrylate esters, visit ICIS chemical intelligence


By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653



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