US December acrylates roll over on soft demand, long supply

12 December 2012 23:21  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US December acrylic acid and acrylate esters contracts settled flat from November on soft market conditions, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The rollover for freely negotiated prices held acrylic acid contract values in the range of $1.10-1.14/lb ($2,425-2,513/tonne, €1,867-1,935/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

Soft market conditions prevailed, holding values flat despite sporadic evidence of some acrylates increases driven by feedstock gains in November, which saw chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contracts increase by 4 cents/lb.

Most sources predicted that would not be large enough to overcome weak seasonal demand and long supply.

Some customers said they took increases of 2-3 cents/lb from a couple of producers, but most sources said market values were broadly flat.

One buyer suggested last week, however, that it might accept a small increase in 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) in an acknowledgement of November feedstock pressure.

Gains of only 1-2 cents/lb were achieved in November as producers’ efforts to raise prices by 6-8 cents/lb were held to minimums.

US propylene contracts were settling this week at an increase of 1 cent/lb on the heels of higher spot prices in recent weeks, but no January acrylates increase proposals had yet surfaced, sources said.

The initial December CGP settlements put contracts at 56.50 cents/lb. A full-market agreement had not yet been reached.

In October, CGP settled up by 1.5 cents/lb from September, after relatively stable pricing throughout the third quarter.

The feedstock US oxo-alcohols 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) and n-butanol (NBA) markets saw increases of 3 cents/lb for December NBA take hold, while an identical effort for 2-EH continued to strengthen on higher energy and raw material costs, sources said.

US acrylates producers include Arkema, Dow Chemical and BASF.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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