Corrected: US spot liquid epoxy resin prices fall by up to 4%

26 July 2011 23:08  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined "US spot liquid epoxy resin prices fall by up to 4%" 26 July 2011, please read in the fifth paragraph … a fall of 7–8 cents/lb … instead of … a fall of 7 cents/lb …. A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US importers of standard liquid epoxy resins (LER) have started to drop their prices, pushing US spot prices down by as much as 4%, sources said on Tuesday.

Import prices had been at a premium of 3–4 cents/lb ($66–88/tonne, €46–62/tonne) above domestic material since mid June.

According to importers, Asian producers have become more aggressive in chasing US sales, and a US producer said the importers are attempting to “buy business back”.

Importers said they have lowered their prices below US domestic levels. Spot prices for imported material fell to $1.76–1.81/lb DEL (delivered) North America in bulk and to $1.81–1.88/lb DEL North America in drums, as assessed by ICIS.

Those prices represent a fall of 7-8 cents/lb from price assessments made on 19 July by ICIS.

One US producer said it had no plans to lower its prices, because it was not convinced buyers would look to the cheaper imported material because of shipment delays and previous experiences.

“[US buyers] have been burned by this trick before,” the producer said, citing delivery issues. “It’s a matter of who wants to play this game, but I think [US buyers] will stay with us.”

Currently, US market prices for LER are $1.80–1.86/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

While one producer said it did not plan on lowering its prices, another said it was a possibility.

“It’ll depend on how much volume gets moved over here,” he said. “People might be quoting the same material at us, but I could see a downward adjustment of a few cents per pound for August material.”

Several importers said the reason for the fall was the softer demand in the US.

“There is no supply crunch over here. People have inventories,” one said.

The lower import prices could be short-lived, sources said, because feedstock costs in Asia for bisphenol A (BPA) and epichlorohydrin (ECH) are rising on stronger Chinese demand and increasing upstream costs.

($1 = €0.70)

By: John Dietrich

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