Buyers resist US epoxy resins April price hikes on slower demand

04 April 2011 21:33  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US epoxy resins demand has slowed noticeably, sparking resistance to April price increases, a buyer said on Monday.

“There is definite pressure to try to get pricing over $1.80/lb both on the domestics and the imports,” the source said.

US liquid epoxy resin (LER) suppliers announced price increase initiatives for 1 April, ranging from 5-10 cents/lb.

With a series of price increases in the first quarter, US LER prices have reached record highs on a sustained basis, surpassing the levels of 2008 when crude oil skyrocketed to nearly $150/bbl.

Buyers said they are cautiously optimistic that the full April increases will not hold, because supply appears to have loosened.

A producer said the announced increases were needed to recover higher raw material costs, but the nominations did not take into account large increases nominated for feedstock propylene April contract prices.

However, contract prices for benzene, another important LER feedstock, fell by nearly 12% in April.

With April increases pending, US LER deliveries to mid-volume customers were at $1.69-1.77/lb DEL ($3,726-3,902/tonne, €2,608-2,731/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.70)

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: David Barry
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