US chlorinated solvent prices may rise on strong demand

02 August 2011 22:10  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US spot prices for chlorinated solvents could increase in August because of strong demand and tight supply, sources said on Tuesday.

A major US producer said it was already seeing prices for methylene chloride rise by 15 cents/lb ($331/tonne, €232/tonne) in August from July levels.

The company also said that prices for trichloroethylene (TCE) had moved up by 14–20 cents/lb to match those of related product perchloroethylene (perc).

Last week, a distributor also said that prices could rise slightly.

However, another producer and several buyers were less convinced, arguing that they have not seen formal price increase nominations for any of the solvents, and that buyers have no incentive to pay higher prices without nominations.

Each of the products is at a record high, as assessed by ICIS.

The drivers behind the record-high prices have been strong demand from the refrigerant liquids market and tight supply.

Sources said that although refrigerant liquids demand has softened slightly because of seasonal factors, solvent demand has picked up the slack for each of the products.

Supply is tight because no capacity additions have been made since the surge in demand, and debottlenecking efforts have not added enough supply to offset the higher demand.

Currently, methylene chloride is assessed by ICIS at 60-70 cents/lb FOB (free on board), perc is at $1.05–1.15/lb FOB and TCE is at 91-95 cents/lb FOB.

Major US sellers of the chlorinated solvents are Dow Chemical, INEOS Chlor, Occidental Chemical and PPG Industries.

($1 = €0.70)

To learn more about the chlorinated solvents visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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