US acrylates producers seek 5-8 cent/lb May gains on feedstock

20 April 2011 23:19  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two US acrylic acid and acrylate esters producers have proposed May contract price increases of 5-8 cents/lb ($110-176/tonne, €77-123/tonne) on sharply-higher propylene costs for April, sources said on Wednesday.

The initiatives followed April feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) gains of 15 cents/lb, which were driven by tight supply and firm demand for propylene.

Dow Chemical said in a letter to customers that its proposed 7 cent/lb increase stemmed from unexpectedly-higher raw material prices.

Arkema’s price letter cited similar rationale in its bid to raise methyl acrylate and ethyl acrylate contract prices by 5 cents/lb and glacial acrylic acid (GAA) prices by 7 cents/lb. Its butyl acrylate and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) prices would increase by 8 cents/lb.

"This is strictly a raw-material driven effort,” a producer said.

A buyer conceded as much, saying “I think because the [5-9 cent/lb] acrylates announcements for April weren't enough to cover the 15 cent/lb jump in propylene in April, the sellers are seeking the remainder in May”.

April acrylates contracts were heard settling up at 5-7 cents/lb, but were not yet assessed up by ICIS, pending further market confirmation.

US acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices settled flat in March on then-weakening CGP.

March contract values for GAA were at $1.38-1.43/lb, according to ICIS.

Major producers of acrylates in the US include Arkema, Dow and BASF.

($1 = €0.70)

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