24 April 2012 23:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US April methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) contract prices will likely settle at an increase of 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne, €84/tonne), sources said on Tuesday after recent reductions in April offers.
One buyer said a proposed increase of 10 cents/lb had dwindled to 5 cents/lb.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” he added. “I think the price is inflated as it is.”
Current MIBK contract prices are $1.29-1.35/lb, as assessed by ICIS, though one source reported prices as low as $1.20/lb at the bottom of the range.
However, at least two producers remain extremely short on supply, sources said, with allocations in effect. The supply constraints could be a factor well into June, another customer said.
Those conditions made the reduced offers unexpected, but with feedstock prices stabilising or tapering off, the arguments for stronger gains have weakened.
Upstream, US spot refinery-grade propylene (RGP) was in a range of 68-69 cents/lb late on Friday, and offers had fallen by another 1.5 cents/lb by mid-day on Monday. Prices were weaker on softer propylene demand from the chemical sector and the gasoline market, sources said.
April propylene contracts recently settled flat, despite proposed increases of 2 and 5 cents/lb.
US isopropanol (IPA) contract prices for April recently settled flat, after increase initiatives of 5 cents/lb were rescinded amid subdued market activity and flat feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) prices.
US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Celanese, Sasol and Eastman.
($1 = €0.76)
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