US acetic acid spot price drops 1 cent/lb on slipping demand

02 April 2012 22:02  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US acetic acid spot prices fell 1 cent/lb ($25/tonne, €19/tonne) in the past week on slipping demand, buyers said on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), buyers said spot acetic acid has dropped to $550-$595/tonne. It closed a week ago at $575-$620/tonne.

But buyers said the latest acetic acid nominations were only stop-gap measures. “Those are just to hold the market and stop it from dropping more,” a buyer said.

Another buyer said spot acetic acid prices in Asia that are now below $450/tonne, according to ICIS, are prompting talk of possibly importing material to the US. No shipments have been reported yet, though.

Acetic acid prices tightened higher in late February on proposals for 2 cent/lb increases that took effect in January and February.

LyondellBasell issued a 2 cent/lb proposal for 1 April on acetic acid, paired with a 3 cent/lb increase for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM). Acetic acid is a VAM feedstock.

Celanese also is seeking 3 cents/lb for VAM, effective 1 April. The company also listed cumulative increases for acetic acid in the first quarter of 4 cents/lb, which were announced in mid-January and mid-February.

Neither LyondellBasell nor Celanese gave a reason for raising prices in their respective releases.

VAM feedstock US ethylene has been increasing this year, but acetic acid feedstock US methanol has been stable, seemingly tied to a tight range of 112-115 cents/gal for all of this year. Methanol spot prices on Monday were 114.00-114.50 cents/gal, sources said.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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