26 June 2012 21:07 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Spot prices for epoxy resins imported into the US have dropped because of longer supply, caused by demand weakness in overseas markets, sources said on Tuesday.
US spot epoxy resins prices, which reflect imported material, fell by 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne, €123/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.
This puts prices at $1.40-1.45/lb DEL (delivered) bulk, down by 4.7% from previous assessments.
“Most orders we’re seeing are in the low $1.40s, but we’ve seen some larger orders cheaper than that,” a trader said.
Sources said demand in Asia, especially China, is weak, but companies are keeping operating rates at stable levels to keep employment steady and prevent plant shut downs.
This is producing excess material, which the trader said is being shipped to the US for whatever price sellers can get.
“It’s a combination of weak domestic demand overseas and also cheaper raw material costs over there,” the trader said.
Several US buyers agreed that import material pricing is falling, and added that foreign product is attractive compared with US domestic product.
“We still see a bit of a gap between imports and US product, but that should narrow next month,” a buyer said.
US domestic epoxy resin prices are assessed by ICIS at $1.50-1.60/lb DEL bulk for material ordered in June, but are expected to fall in July on weaker feedstocks and competition from imports.
Major US epoxy resins producers include Dow Chemical, Huntsman and Momentive Specialty Chemicals.
($1 = €0.80)
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