02 April 2012 20:02 [Source: ICIS news]SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters contracts for April were settling initially at plus 2-3 cents/lb ($44-66/tonne, €33-50/tonne), well below proposed increase levels, buyers said on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
Producer offers range from 5 to 10 cents/lb higher than March values. But most buyers said that despite a small gain in feedstock chemical-grade propylene for March, other market fundamentals did not support even the minimum proposed increase for April.
Customers said demand has not bounced back as the US coatings season gets underway, and that current demand is flat to as much as 10% below forecast levels.
Current acrylic acid contract values for small to mid-size buyers in the US are $1.24-1.29/lb, following recent March increases of 10-12 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
FOB USG export prices were confirmed to have risen sharply in recent days, with glacial acetic acid (GAA), butyl acrylate (butyl-A) and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) up by a range of 5-8 cents/lb.
GAA was said to be in the low 90s cents/lb range, with butyl-A at about the $1.00/lb mark, and 2-EHA as high as $1.04/lb.
Major US acrylates producers include Dow Chemical, Arkema and BASF.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through Tuesday.
($1 = €0.75)For more on acrylates, visit the ICIS Plants & Projects database
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