US MA December contracts roll over, feedstock a concern

27 November 2012 23:13  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--December contracts for US maleic anhydride (MA) rolled over from November, and despite concerns over rising feedstock prices, there are no immediate plans for an MA price increase, market sources said on Tuesday.

Molten MA is currently assessed by ICIS at 90.20-96.20 cents/lb ($1,989-2,121/tonne, €1,532-1,633/tonne).

Contract prices had previously rolled over in November. For several weeks, the price for primary feedstock normal butane, also called n-butane, has been rising incrementally.

A producer said it has not begun to consider whether the cost of butane may lead to an announcement of an MA price increase for January. The producer noted that the price of butane jumped precipitously at the end of 2011, but that has not yet been the case this year.

The producer also noted that supply-and-demand factors appear to be relatively balanced. The producer said 2012 has seen some demand growth over the previous year, and even with concerns over the wider economy, 2013 is expected to show even more demand.

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

($1 = €0.77)

Follow Ken Fountain (@ICIS_Ken) on Twitter.

By: Ken Fountain

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