US MA prices roll over in September, feedstock a concern

04 September 2012 22:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US assessed maleic anhydride (MA) contract prices rolled over in September as market participants agreed on Tuesday that there would be no new price increase initiatives for the month..

However, some sources said there was a strong likelihood of discussions of an increase in October based on the price of primary feedstock normal butane.

MA was assessed by ICIS at 88.20-94.20 cents/lb ($1,944.5-2,076.8/tonne) (€1,536.2-1,640/tonne).

For weeks, participants in the MA market have kept an eye on the price of feedstock normal butane, which had dropped significantly earlier in the year after a sharp rise that began in late 2011. More recently, however, the price of normal butane, also known as n-butane, has shown more stability.

Meanwhile, it appeared there would be no lasting effects on MA pricing from Hurricane Isaac, which made landfall on the US Gulf coast last week, prompting many petrochemical plants in the region to shut down operations for several days.

One MA producer said that there was no major impact from the storm at its facilities in Louisiana and that it was meeting orders from its customers.

Major US producers of MA include Flint Hills Resources, Ashland, LANXESS and Huntsman.

($1 = €0.79)

Follow Ken Fountain on Twitter (@ICIS_Ken).

By: Ken Fountain

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