Third US producer seeks March acrylates increases

21 February 2013 23:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US March acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices were proposed higher by a third major producer on Wednesday, citing upstream pressure, primarily from feedstock propylene.

BASF announced its plan to raise prices by 6-7 cents/lb ($132-154/tonne, €99-116/tonne), saying its manufacturing costs have increased because of higher-priced “key raw materials.”

Glacial acrylic acid (GAA) and most of the esters will increase by 6 cents/lb, effective 1 March. 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) was proposed up by 7 cents/lb, also effective 1 March.

Dow Chemical and Arkema previously proposed March increases of 6-7 cents/lb.

In the meantime, freely negotiated contract increases for February appeared likely to settle in a range of 5-8 cents/lb, based on buyer consensus.

Over the January-February period, acrylates gains are likely to total 7-10 cents/lb, which includes January increases assessed at an average of 2 cents/lb.

Soft demand and ample supply have persisted within the US acrylates market, with demand unusually weak leading into the US spring coatings season.

Upstream, US February propylene contracts settled up by 6 cents/lb during the period, moving chemical-grade propylene (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 January acrylic acid is $1.12-1.16/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

($1 = €0.75)

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

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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