US October acrylates fall by 10 cents/lb on soft market conditions

02 November 2011 21:57  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract values for October were assessed down by an average of 10 cents/lb ($220/tonne, €161/tonne) on softening market conditions, sources said on Wednesday.

The weakness, which took glacial acrylic acid (GAA) prices to a new range of $1.311.36/lb, as assessed by ICIS, stemmed from seasonally weaker demand and longer supply.

Though September feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) settled flat, slackening demand has stretched supply to excess levels and pushed October pricing sharply lower as producers seek to trim year-end inventory, sources said.

Price reductions heard during October ranged from 612 cents/lb for glacial acrylic acid (GAA) to as much as 12 cents down for 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) and one offer of 15 cents/lb down for butyl acrylate (butyl-A).

Some considered the butyl-A reduction an outlier, but all buyers agreed that weaker demand is anticipated by the end of the year.

Producers are willing to offer further concessions than usual on freely negotiated pricing, a buyer said, “because they don’t want to get stuck with inventory, and buyers don’t want it either".

Most formula buyers will see their largest discounts in November, based on October’s sharp 14 cent/lb drop in CGP, sources said, but negotiated October reductions have been significant.

Sources said combined reductions in October and November could total 20 cents/lb or more.

“Producers know they are going to have to give back major price … due to the propylene price drops,” a buyer said.

The October CGP contract price is 62.50 cents/lb, and November feedstock CGP contracts are expected to be lower on weak demand and plentiful spot availability.

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

($1 = €0.73)

For more on US acrylates, visit ICIS Chemical Intelligence

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