US Jan acrylates rise 2 cents/lb; sharp February gains expected

29 January 2013 23:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US January acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract values rose by an average of 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne), most sources confirmed on Tuesday.

The increase takes glacial acrylic acid to a  range of $1.12-1.16/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

Two of the three major domestic producers proposed January increases of 3-6 cents/lb in an apparent attempt to get ahead of anticipated sharply higher February feedstock propylene prices.

One producer said it achieved its proposed January gains of 5-6 cents/lb, mostly on pre-buying demand. “Overall, we didn’t get pushback on the 5 cents/lb,” the producer said. “Customers were aware of propylene’s January increase.”

However, January price-hike efforts struggled to increases of only 1-2 cents/lb, with most customers citing December propylene contract gains of only 1 cent/lb.

With January’s chemical-grade propylene (CGP) increase of 15 cents/lb, acrylates price-hike efforts for both January and February eventually totalled 11-14 cents/lb for February.

Given ongoing soft market conditions, including ample supply and lacklustre-but-improving demand, most sources expected only a marginal gain in January pricing, but a gain of at least 10 cents/lb for February.

“Downstream demand hasn’t picked up at all yet,” a buyer said. “That won’t happen until customers start making paint.”

($1 = €0.74)

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

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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