07 February 2013 23:05 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US February acrylic acid and acrylate esters freely negotiated contract values are moving up on feedstock pressure, sources confirmed on Thursday.
Initial gains were heard in a range as broad as 3-8 cents/lb ($66-176/tonne, €49-131/tonne), following January acrylates contract increases averaging 2 cents/lb.
Current US acrylic acid is in a range of $1.12-1.16/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
Price-hike efforts from the three major producers for January and February totalled 11-14 cents/lb, some coming early in the period in apparent anticipation of sharply higher feedstock propylene prices, sources said.
In the meantime, one producer announced intended 1 March increases of 7 cents/lb, continuing sellers’ efforts to recoup chemical-grade propylene (CGP) costs that rose sharply in January and are expected to see another strong increase in February.
Acrylates buyers cite soft market conditions including ample supply and lacklustre-but-improving demand is resisting the price increases, but acknowledge the upstream pressure from CGP.
An acrylates order control implemented by one large producer on 29 January was widely speculated to be the producer’s attempt to limit expected strong acrylates pre-buying ahead of likely higher February CGP values. The producer did not comment on its rationale.
US acrylates producers include Arkema, Dow Chemical and BASF.
($1 = €0.74)
For more on acrylates, visit the ICIS Plants & Projects database
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