US epoxy resins buyers face further price hikes in June

03 May 2011 22:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US epoxy resins buyers are bracing for the possibility of further price hikes in June, with one producer already having announced an 11 cent/lb ($243/tonne, €162/tonne) price initiative, sources said on Tuesday.

No reason was given for the June price increase announcement, buyers said, but rising raw materials costs and tight resin supply were mentioned as possible factors.

Producers were seeking to implement price increases of 5-6 cents/lb in May, which would move prices further into uncharted territory, buyers said.

“It’s crazy, we’re getting increase letters every month,” a buyer said.

“Our margin is shrinking,” the source added. “It’s very, very difficult to pass along the price increases.”

With confirmation of the May increases still pending, US liquid epoxy resin (LER) deliveries to mid-volume bulk customers were at $1.74-1.82/lb DEL (delivered), as assessed by ICIS.

Spot LER truckload business was heard at around $1.85-1.91/lb DEL this week.

Supply is relatively tight, according to market participants. A supplier said it had seen a spike in orders related to a competitor’s force majeure (FM) declaration and supply allocations.

Feedstock bisphenol-A (BPA) supply was the main constraint on epoxy resins production, the supplier said.

A buyer said BPA-related supply issues could linger through June.

Major US epoxy resins producers include Dow Chemical, Momentive and Huntsman.

($1 = €0.67)

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

By: David Barry
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