US March MIBK price efforts surface on supply, feedstock pressure

15 February 2013 23:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US March methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) price-hike initiatives are proliferating on tight supply and feedstock pressure, sources said on Friday.

Three producers announced plans to raise MIBK prices by 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne, €83/tonne) effective 1 March.

The nominations came even as February initiatives in a range of 15-24 cents/lb are still being negotiated, sources said.

The February range includes at least two proposed hikes of 9 cents/lb for 15 February, and more broadly announced increase initiatives of 15 cents/lb, effective 1 February.

December and January contracts settled at rollovers on seasonal demand softness and the absence of price-hike proposals from most producers.

Among feedstock, refinery-grade propylene (RGP) was lower at 66.50-73.00 cents/lb compared with 72.00-73.50 cents/lb a week earlier, as the apparent start of a major correction followed a surge in spot prices in recent weeks.

February propylene contracts settled up by 6 cents/lb during the period, moving CGP contracts to 77.5 cents/lb. Sources said the increase stemmed from a stronger spot market and tighter supply in January, although the upward momentum stalled at the beginning of February.

US isopropanol (IPA) contract values appeared likely to gain a total of 10 cents/lb for February on stronger feedstock pricing and tight supply.

Feedstock truck acetone prices moved 8% higher, or up by 6 cents/lb, from January on tighter supply and rising feedstock costs, sources said on Friday. The gains were in line with price-increase nominations of 5-6 cents/lb from producers.

US NYMEX crude oil futures ended the week negligibly up from a week earlier but down by $1.45/bbl from the previous day because of pre-weekend selling partly in response to a report showing an unexpected decline in US manufacturing.

The current US MIBK contract price is in a range of $1.13-1.23, as assessed by ICIS.

US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Haltermann and Sasol.

($1 = €0.75)

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

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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