20 September 2012 22:07 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US isopropanol (IPA) contract prices settled flat for September as early price-hike initiatives withered on soft market fundamentals, sources confirmed on Thursday.
The rollover holds IPA contract prices in a range of 72-74 cents/lb ($1,587-1,631/tonne, €1,222-1,256/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.
September increase initiatives were at 3-5 cents/lb, but weak August prices for feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) and a lack of support from the market’s major producers led smaller producers to rescind their September price-hike efforts, sources said.
In the meantime, October IPA contract values have been proposed up by at least two producers in a wide range of 3-8 cents/lb. No rationale was specified, but a producer cited an expected increase in the September CGP contract and a need to improve squeezed margins.
Some sources expect September propylene to settle flat or up by as much as 2 cents/lb.
Sources also said importers continue to face highly compressed margins because US product has been less expensive than offshore material.
On the feedstock acetone front, September truck acetone contracts tightened after producers saw mixed results with earlier initiatives. New prices were assessed at 62-68 cents/lb DEL (delivered) on a pre-discount basis.
US IPA suppliers include Shell Chemicals, Dow Chemical, LyondellBasell, ExxonMobil, Haltermann and Sasol.
($1 = €0.77)
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