US domestic, epoxy resins prices fall 12 cents/lb on feedstocks

15 November 2011 21:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US domestic and spot prices for epoxy resins fell because of cheaper import material, softer demand and lower costs for feedstocks, sources said on Tuesday.

US domestic prices for standard liquid epoxy resins (LER) fell by 12 cents/lb ($265/tonne, €193/tonne), pushing prices to $1.51­–1.57/lb DEL bulk (delivered in bulk), as assessed by ICIS.

Sources said that domestic prices for standard solid epoxy resins (SER) maintained their premium of 4 cents/lb to LER.

In the spot market, prices fell to $1.46–1.51/lb DEL bulk and to $1.53–1.58/lb DEL drums (delivered in drums).

“In LER, things are pretty soft and pretty cheap,” a buyer said.

The buyer said that with spot prices - which reflect imported material - continuing to fall, US producers have needed to keep up in order to maintain market share.

“The Chinese are leading the charge to push down prices and unload material,” a distributor said.

Other sources agreed that the most aggressive sellers are those with Chinese material.

The buyer said  prices were seen to fall by 15 cents/lb heading into November, and a distributor said the price gap widened between large buyers and medium or small buyers.

Also pushing down prices were weaker feedstock costs in the phenol and acetone markets.

The US October phenol contract fell by 9.23 cents/lb, and the barge acetone contract price fell by 15 cents/lb in October.

“Most of the raw material decreases are getting passed through, and there’s been some pressure from import material,” a producer said.

Demand for LER was softening in most segments, buyers said, with only the automotive coatings and oilfield resins markets showing strength.

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

($1 = €0.73)

By: John Dietrich

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