US Jan MA proposed 3, 4 cents/lb higher on butane

04 December 2012 22:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two producers of US maleic anhydride (MA) have proposed price increases. effective on 1 January or as contracts allow, following two consecutives months in which the contract rolled over, sources said on Tuesday.

Huntsman announced a 3 cent/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) increase, citing the cost of raw materials and fuel, as well as general costs associated with making and delivering MA.

Market sources said LANXESS announced a 3 cent/lb increase, but that was not confirmed.

ICIS currently assesses MA at 90.20-96.20 cents/lb.

MA prices had remained unchanged in November and December, but producers said that a recent incremental increase in the price of primary feedstock normal butane (n-butane), might lead to discussions of a price increase.

One producer said that the recent stability in MA pricing “cannot continue in a rising butane cost environment”.

The producer said a price increase for January would be necessary, although it did not say it had announced such an increase yet.

A large buyer of MA said the announcements were not unexpected, and that they were not out of line given the recent increase in the cost of butane.

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

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Ken Fountain

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