SABIC proposes US price increases for PC, ABS

18 January 2012 20:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--SABIC Innovative Plastics on Wednesday proposed US price increases of 11 cents/lb ($243/tonne, €192/tonne) for its polycarbonate (PC) and PC-blended materials and 5 cents/lb for its acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) materials, for shipments made on or after 13 February.

SABIC had previously proposed a 5-cent/lb price increase for its ABS pipe and sheet materials that are used exclusively in the US, effective 1 February.

The company proposed the same increases for the rest of the world.

SABIC cited increasing costs for raw materials butadiene for ABS and benzene for PC as reason for the proposed price adjustments. The company's last price increase came in mid-2011.

Feedstock acrylonitrile (ACN) spot prices have increased recently on demand, while the December contract rates were down.

The January contract for styrene narrowed from December, but the average remained the same. The January contract for BD settled up by 8% from December, while spot prices were heard at 125135 cents/lb for the week that ended on 13 January.

Additionally, there are several crackers scheduled for planned maintenance turnarounds in the first six months of the year. This could have a negative impact on the BD supply, sources said.

Upstream feedstocks costs for PC have been increasing as the January benzene contract rose 23% over the December contract, and spot prices have hovered around $4/gal.

Downstream from benzene, cumene contracts for January were assessed higher by 11%. The January acetone contract settlement has yet to come, but several market players are eyeing an increase.

Because of the surge in benzene costs, the US January phenol contract is expected to increase as well.

One buyer said he is leery of the push for price increases, adding he is not sure if they are warranted. The buyer said some of the increases appear to be in excess of the added cost.

The buyer also questioned the producers about why buyers seldom see large drops in price when feedstock costs fall as they have.

SABIC has three ABS production facilities in the US. The company has PC facilities in Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and two in the US.

INEOS ABS and Styron have also proposed price increases for ABS materials, while Styron has also proposed a price increase for its PC materials.

Other ABS producers include BASF Mexicana, INEOS ABS, Network & Diamond Polymers, Styrolution and Styron, while other PC producers include, Bayer, Policarbonatos do Brasil and Styron.

($1 = €0.79)

For more on SBR visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Wesley Busch
+1 713 525 2653

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