US May MIBK contracts settle flat on upstream weakness

30 May 2012 23:24  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) contract prices for May settled at rollovers from April on weakening feedstock, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The rollover holds May MIBK at $1.29-1.35/lb ($2,844-2,976/tonne, €2,275-2,381/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

Although no June reductions have surfaced, sources said values appeared to be slipping, suggesting that reductions of about 5 cents/lb could be broadly implemented in the near term.

The rollover came despite ongoing supply constraints from at least one producer that has maintained strict sales controls for several weeks. Upstream weakness and soft demand, however, counterbalanced those supply limits to keep May contract values static.

The US MIBK market remained fractured, with some pricing heard higher and lower than the previously noted range, which represents most of the market.

US propylene contracts are likely headed for a significant drop in June, market sources said, citing weak demand and lower spot prices in recent weeks.

So far, one propylene producer has nominated a decrease of 8 cents/lb for June.

On the feedstock truck acetone front, US May barge contracts were initially settled at 52.5 cents/lb delivered, a drop of 23% from April on weaker feedstock costs, sources said.

Isopropanol (IPA) contract pricing slipped by an average of 8 cents/lb for May on soft market conditions and the threat of cheaper imports.

US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Eastman, Sasol, Haltermann and Celanese.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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