US March IPA contracts rise by 15 cents/lb, April may roll over

30 March 2012 22:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US isopropanol (IPA) contract prices for March rose by 15 cents/lb ($331/tonne, €248/tonne) on upstream costs, market sources confirmed on Friday.

The increase puts the new range at 88-90 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

IPA contract values rose by 5 cents/lb in February on market conditions, including feedstock pressure and heightened buying interest ahead of anticipated March increases.

A 30% jump in February feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) drove March IPA prices up, sources said. But April price efforts appeared to have withered during the week, in spite of a 5% increase in March CGP from February.

Several producers had proposed April increases of 5 cents/lb, effective on 1 April, but the absence of an offer from the largest domestic producer put the price efforts in doubt early on, sources said.

Sources said producers largely withdrew their efforts this week because contract values were at or near parity with import pricing.

Supply was heard to be ample, however, with some pressure from propylene.

CGP contracts for April were nominated higher for April by 2 and 5 cents/lb, but a settlement was not expected until after an industry conference in San Antonio on 1-3 April. CGP is currently at 76 cents/lb.

US IPA suppliers include Exxon, Dow Chemical, Shell Chemical and Sasol.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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