Buyers frustrated by US April acrylates price-hike efforts

16 March 2012 16:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylates buyers said Friday that they are frustrated by producers' plans to raise contract prices in April on the heels of substantial March initiatives.

One customer said BASF’s proposals of a 5 cent/lb ($110/tonne, €84/tonne) increase for 1 April, following its 12 cent/lb initiative for March was "reasonable," based on propylene costs.

"However, it doesn't take into consideration the difficulty our business has passing it through to the end user," the buyer added.

Dow's plan to increase April prices by 10 cents/lb after seeking 10-12 cent/lb increases for March was even less palatable, buyers said.

“Our demand is about the same as this time last year,” the buyer added, “so we haven't seen the growth we were hoping for.”

Both companies cited higher raw material costs as rationale, with BASF also attributing the increases to rising freight and energy costs.

March contracts appear to be settling at nominated levels, despite February initiatives of 10-14 cents/lb from Arkema, which had no March price proposals.

Current acrylic acid contracts for February are $1.12-$1.17/lb, as assessed by ICIS,  but March pricing is expected to settle within the next week.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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