Arkema proposes 5-8 cent/lb hike for US April acrylates

21 March 2012 20:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Proposed April increases from a third US acrylates producer surfaced early in the week, frustrating the market but coming as no surprise, buyers said on Wednesday.

Arkema announced its plan to raise US contract prices for acrylic acid and acrylate esters by 5-8 cents/lb ($110-176/tonne, €84-134/tonne).

That news followed plans recently announced by BASF and Dow Chemical to raise their April prices by 5 cents/lb and 10 cents/lb, respectively.

All three producers cited higher raw-material costs as the rationale, with BASF also attributing the need for the increases to rising freight and energy costs.

Customers were already apprehensive about the first two April initiatives coming on the heels of substantial March increases of 12 cents/lb. That gain took acrylic acid contracts to $1.24-$1.29/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

Several customers said passing along those increased costs downstream would be very difficult amid flat year-on-year demand and ample supply.

Others, however, were more optimistic, suggesting the spring coatings season would continue to be soft but marginally better than last year.

The lowest of the three price-hike proposals was the only palatable initiative because of the 5% March increase in propylene values, sources said.

February feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) had jumped by 30% from January largely because of a surge in spot propylene prices.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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