Stronger demand, tight supply push up chlorinated solvents prices

20 March 2012 20:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chlorinated solvents prices in the US have risen as warmer weather increased demand for refrigerants, sources said on Tuesday.

Dow Chemical announced a 5 cent/lb ($110/tonne, €84/tonne) price increase nomination for methylene chloride, perchloroethylene (perc) and trichloroethylene (TCE) effective 1 March.

INEOS Chlor announced a nomination of 5 cents/lb for methylene chloride, while nominations from Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) and PPG Industries could not be confirmed.

Buyers said the increases are not good for the market, and would lead to demand destruction.

“These higher prices are killing everybody,” a buyer in the solvent market said. “We need cheaper material.”

Producers said that most of the stronger demand is coming from the refrigerant liquids market. With warmer weather expected, refrigerant makers are increasing production in time for spring and summer.

“People still need material,” a producer said. “And trying to switch away from these products would involve new machinery, and few have the capital for that.”

With the increases, prices for methylene chloride are assessed by ICIS at 65-70 cents/lb FOB (free on board), 90-100 cents/lb for perc and 100-110 cents/lb for TCE.

Previously, prices were assessed at 60-66 cents/lb for methylene chloride, 85-95 cents/lb for perc and 100-105 cents/lb for TCE.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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