Late US December acrylates hike initiatives stun buyers

27 November 2012 23:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US December acrylates price-hike initiatives of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) surfaced from one producer on Tuesday, eliciting shock and scepticism from buyers.

Dow Chemical announced its intent to raise prices for its glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and esters, effective 1 December, saying in a customer letter that feedstock “propylene, acetone and methanol continue to rise”.

“Really?” said one buyer. “This isn’t going to fly.”

Another buyer said the Dow initiatives came very late in the month and were “wishful thinking,” adding that “pricing in Asia is already falling again, and that is going to undermine any increase here”.

November feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contracts recently settled higher by 4 cents/lb, but most sources said that was not enough to counterbalance other weak market fundamentals.

Neither of the two other major producers had issued increases by Thursday afternoon, and one of them said it had no plans to do so because of prevailing soft market conditions including low demand and plentiful supply.

November price-hike efforts of 6-8 cents/lb were held to gains of only 1-2 cents/lb on similar fundamentals.

The contract price range for GAA is $1.10-1.14/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

US acrylates producers include Dow Chemical, Arkema and BASF.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on acrylates, visit the ICIS Plants & Projects database

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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