23 February 2012 20:51 [Source: ICIS news]
However, none of the sources were ready to suggest how successful the price efforts would be.
Although Arkema sought February increases of 10-14 cents/lb, buyers said those efforts were premature and unlikely to be broadly successful until March.
The current assessed price range for acrylic acid is $1.12-1.17/lb, and February contracts are expected to settle flat from January.
Chemical grade propylene (CGP) jumped by 30% to reach 71 cents/lb for February, creating the impetus behind the large March initiatives.
“With supply being loose right now, I do not anticipate the full propylene effect to be implemented in March,” a buyer said. “I know there will be an increase. However, I would guess it would be less than expected based on plenty of supply.”
Upstream cost pressure has a domino effect.
“The difficulty is trying to pass that kind of [propylene] hit downstream,” another acrylates buyer said. “People are upset because of the magnitude of the March acrylates increase initiatives. We’ve been coaching [customers] that an increase is coming, but it’s still hard to take.”
Another buyer - a paint maker - said it was concerned that its customers may not be able to pass along higher costs further downstream.
US acrylates producers include Dow, Arkema and BASF.
($1 = €0.76)
For more on acrylates, visit ICIS Chemical Intelligence
Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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