Americas top stories - weekly summary

26 December 2011 15:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Americas for the week ended 23 December 2011.

(Please click on the link to read the full text.)

US December MMA contract price falls 4% on increase supply
The US December methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract price was assessed lower by 4% on Friday because of longer supply.

OUTLOOK: Infrastructure, price advantage keeps US ethane in demand
Ethane will remain in high demand from the chemical sector as infrastructure companies continue to plan and break ground on shale projects for bringing the feedstock and natural gas to the market.

US BD producer nominates 7 cent/lb increase for January
A US butadiene (BD) producer on Thursday nominated a 7 cent/lb ($154/tonne, €119/tonne) increase for January, an initiative that puts its BD contracts at $1.05/lb next month.

Clock running out on US biodiesel tax credit
Thousands of jobs are at stake as the clock runs out on the $1/gal US federal tax credit for biodiesel producers, an industry group said on Thursday.

US December PS prices soften on feedstocks
US December polystyrene (PS) prices fell on average by 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne, €17/tonne) from November for both general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS), based on lower feedstock costs, sources said on Thursday.

Westlake raises capacity at planned US chlor-alkali project by 40%
Westlake Chemical is increasing the capacity of its planned chlor-alkali facility at Geismar, Louisiana, to 350,000 electrochemical units (ECU)/year, up by 40% from the originally announced 250,000 ECU/year, the US-based producer said on Wednesday.

Flame retardant, feedstock costs lead to N America EPS price hike
North American expandable polystyrene (EPS) producers have announced price increases of between 4–6 cents/lb ($88–132/tonne, €68–102/tonne) for mid-January, based on higher feedstock prices and other costs, sources said on Tuesday.

US December barge acetone contract settles at rollover
The US December barge acetone contract settled at a rollover from November levels, sources confirmed on Tuesday.

US housing starts rise in Nov to highest level since April 2010
US housing starts for November surged by 9.3% month on month to the highest level since April 2010, the US Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

US ethane, TiO2 prices to stay high in 2012 – analyst
Prices should remain relatively high for US ethane and titanium dioxide (TiO2) in 2012, an analyst said on Monday.

US Dec home-builder confidence rises for third month in a row
US home builders became more confident about the short-term outlook for their industry, which rose in December for the third consecutive month, a trade group said on Monday.

By: Staff Reporter
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