22 February 2013 10:18 [Source: ICB]
US butyl acetate (butac) prices increased 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) across all ranges in the week ended 15 February on greater demand from customer buying ahead of hikes that take effect soon, sources said.
In the second increase this month, the popular butac distributor range rose to 93-96 cents/lb, from 90-93 cents/lb, sources said.
A seller said it is hard to keep up with butac demand now as customers want to stockpile material ahead of price increases. Producers issued sales controls to limit the pre-buying, the seller said.
"That's the whole idea," the seller said. "When folks see the price is going to go up, they get in there and pre-buy."
Butac prices rose 2 cents/lb across all ranges during the first week of February on continued gains in feedstock propylene and sales controls by two producers.
Producers Oxea and Eastman have instituted sales controls on butac, according to the companies and industry sources. Both companies have pushed aggressively for higher prices so far this year.
Eastman issued a 6 cents/lb increase for 1 February and a 5 cents/lb hike for 15 February. Eastman attributed the hikes to market demand and operating costs, especially in raw materials.
Oxea has issued three 5 cents/lb increases, the latest - for 1 March - in the week ended 8 February.
Meanwhile, feedstock propylene prices have increased on several recent cracker outages, gaining 15 cents/lb in January.
In the week ended 15 February, February contracts began to settle at about an 8% gain, with chemical-grade propylene (CGP) rising 6 cents/lb to 77.5 cents/lb.
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