22 November 2012 20:25 [Source: ICB]
US domestic epoxy resins prices for material shipped in November rolled over in a competitive market, sources said.
ICIS-assessed prices for domestic epoxy resins remained at $1.38-1.45/lb ($3,042-3,197/tonne, €2,403-2,525/tonne) on a DEL bulk (delivered in bulk) basis.
Sources said domestic material shipped in November is being done at largely equal prices to material shipped in October.
SURPLUS OF MATERIAL
"There's a surplus of material on the market," a buyer said. "Domestic producers are competing with each other for business."
Sources said much of the price competition between domestic producers is being fuelled by the seasonal decline in demand. With cooler weather hitting most of the country, the paints and coatings market is slowing down.
There is some hope for a boost in demand from regions hit by Hurricane Sandy, but most buyers were cautious about those prospects.
Most expected that any Sandy-related demand boost would not hit until 2013, after year-end inventory taxes have been assessed.
"There is some hope of an earlier pre-build to help with the Hurricane Sandy area," a coatings market player said. "But the odds are that current inventories could handle that."
Producers said that they felt the end of the year is a poor time to chase price increases, but said their margins are suffering because of high feedstock costs.
Sources added that supply is long, as less expensive import material continues to flow into the country and operating rates remain strong. Imported material is priced at similar levels to domestic material, preventing much movement.
Earlier in the year, imported material was at a discount of as much as 10 cents/lb, which boosted demand for it. The gap has narrowed as US producers have fought to keep market share.
Despite some talk that higher prices in Europe will push Asian sellers to slow down sales into the US, buyers and producers said that supply of Asian material remains strong into the US.
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