08 February 2013 10:07 [Source: ICB]
US fatty alcohol prices are likely to edge lower in the first quarter, market sources said on the sidelines of the annual convention of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), held in Orlando, Florida.
"The tanks are just full," one source said, referring to supply tanks along the US Gulf coast and on the east coast.
With first-quarter contracts settled, buyers continue to find attractive prices available for any off-contract volumes that might be sought.
"We settled our first-quarter contracts later than usual this time and got a better price," one large buyer commented.
Mid-cut detergent range fatty alcohol first-quarter contracts were assessed at 87-100 cents/lb (€0.64-0.74), dropping about 10 cents from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Lower prices on the mid-cuts were heard the week ended 1 February, indicating that the price correction that has been taking place for several quarters has yet to find a bottom.
Mid-cut detergent range alcohols are a key feedstock for most surfactants. The term surfactant refers to a large class including a variety of types and combinations of chemicals able to modify the surface tension of liquids and liquids-to-solids, thus forming the everyday detergents, wetting agents and emulsifiers found in numerous end-use products.
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