02 July 2012 23:05 [Source: ICIS news]
(adds paragraph 2)
IPA contract values held at 80-82 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
Among smaller producers and importers, price reductions averaging 5.50 cents/lb ($121/tonne, €96/tonne) were heard during June, sources said.
However, a major producer held its pricing flat, influencing most of the market despite prices being pressured down by sharply lower May feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP), ample IPA supply and lacklustre demand.
“They are trying not to promote price decreases,” one buyer said of producers, “but they’re coming.” Prices will probably drop more broadly early this month, the buyer added.
Most buyers expected the largest producer to acquiesce to downward pressure in July because of June CGP, which dropped even more precipitously than in May, although propylene appears to be stabilising for July.
Propylene producers nominated flat pricing and increases of 3 cents/lb for July. Sources said contract prices could settle as soon as next week.
The 15.50 cent/lb drop in June CGP pushed it to a 30-month low of 50.50 cents/lb, and the CGP contract price shed 10 cents/lb in May.
The likelihood of lower IPA prices in July has kept many customers on the sidelines in recent weeks.
US IPA suppliers include Shell Chemicals, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil and Sasol.
($1 = €0.79)
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