US polycarbonate prices settle up on feedstocks, tight supply

06 April 2011 22:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Recent price increase nominations for US polycarbonate (PC) have settled, several distributors and buyers said on Wednesday .

Most agreed that about 10-12 cents/lb ($220–265/tonne, €154–185/tonne) of price increase initiatives had gone through.

As a result, US domestic PC prices were assessed by ICIS at 176–195 cents/lb DEL (delivered) for moulding- or extrusion-grade material.

US producers SABIC Innovative Plastics and Styron each had a nomination of 22 cents/lb, effective 1 April and 4 April, respectively, or as contracts allow.

Bayer MaterialScience had a nomination of 25 cents/lb effective 31 March, or as contracts allow.

Buyers and producers each said that about half of the nomination amounts had found traction, which is typical in the market.

One distributor said that buyer size was the determining factor for how much of the price increase passed. Larger buyers only gained about 2-6 cents/lb, medium buyers gained about 10–12 cents/lb and smaller buyers paid all of the nominations.

With feedstock benzene March prices above $4/gal, US PC producers looked to protect their margins with the price increase nominations.

In addition, PC demand was described as stable to strong, allowing for the price increases to find traction.

Tight supply also provided strength for the initiatives, as Bayer PC was under force majeure until 28 March.

However, PC supply has loosened, sources said, which could make future price increases difficult to achieve. In addition, the US April benzene contract price dipped by 51 cents/gal to $3.88/gal FOB (free on board).

($1 = €0.70)

To learn more about polycarbonate visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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