US June acrylates prices drop on feedstock, inventory pressure

27 June 2012 23:09  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices for June declined by an average of 7-8 cents/lb ($154-176/tonne, €123-141/tonne) on sharply lower May feedstock values and plentiful inventory, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The decrease took glacial acrylic acid (GAA) contract prices to a new range of $1.19-1.23/lb, as assessed by ICIS. The May GAA range was $1.26-1.31/lb.

Although most buyers reported similar declines for GAA and the esters, one customer said it would be paying 11 cents/lb less for 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) and methyl acrylate (methyl-A) for June than it did for May.

“It’s a negotiator’s market, one buyer said, “Because business is stable but slow, there is a good inventory of esters, and propylene fell off a cliff.”

The feedstock May chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contract shed 10 cents/lb in May, prompting much of the acrylates decline for June. CGP’s 15.50 cent/lb drop in June pushed it to a 30-month low of 50.50 cents/lb and will lead to further acrylates’ weakness for July.

Buyers hoped for larger declines, but they have been circumspect, one customer said.

“On one hand, you want to get prices as low as you can,” the buyer said. “But one of these days, the supply situation will turn around, and prices will go up again.”

US acrylates producers include Dow, Arkema and BASF.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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