US January MA rises by 3, 4 cents/lb on feedstock

08 January 2013 22:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A set of price initiatives by US producers of maleic anhydride (MA) for January contracts went through with relative ease, market sources said on Tuesday.

In the waning weeks of 2012, some producers announced price initiatives of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) and 4 cents/lb, depending on the relationships with customers.

MA is currently assessed by ICIS at 93.20-99.20 cents/lb.

Those announcements followed two consecutive months of rollovers in November and December.

Producers cited a steady rise in price of primary feedstock normal butane (n-butane).

Those price increases were accepted by customers, if not wholeheartedly.

One producer said during the week that after the January increases, supply and demand dynamics seem to be in balance. Demand was relatively healthy in December, particularly since that typically is the slowest month of the year for MA demand, the producer said.

A large buyer concurred that the market situation seems stable at the moment. There was no talk of any price initiatives for February.

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

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Ken Fountain

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