04 October 2012 21:24 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Fourth-quarter US fatty alcohol contracts settled down from the third quarter, driven by lower feedstock palm kernel oil (PKO) prices and weak domestic demand, buyers and sellers said on Thursday.
Fourth quarter contact business for natural and synthetic detergent-range alcohols in the C12-15 group was assessed at 97-110 cents/lb ($2,139-2,425/tonne, €1,647-1,867/tonne), dropping 8 cents/lb from the third-quarter.
Main drivers for the drop in contract prices were lower prices for PKO, with October futures in Asia said to be about $20/tonne under September.
Weak US demand in the key surfactant end-use sector was another underpinning element in price drop.
Procter & Gamble and BASF are domestic natural fatty alcohol producers, while Shell and Sasol produce synthetic alcohols from natural gas processes.
VVF, Musim Mas, Ecogreen and Kao are among the alcohol importers to the US, all PKO feedstock-based.
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