25 February 2013 23:10 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) contract values settled up for February on strong feedstock pricing and ongoing supply constraints, sources confirmed on Monday.
Increases of 15 cents/lb ($331/tonne, €251/tonne) were implemented mostly at the low end of the range, moving contract values to a new, pre-discount range of $1.28-1.32/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
Sources also said the February range narrowed by 4 cents/lb, adding that although supply is still constrained, a producer has begun making material available to the merchant market after months of severe limits and higher-priced product.
Although some buyers saw mid-month increase proposals of 9 cents/lb, the majority of customers accepted the proposed 1 February increases of 15 cents/lb. Three producers are also seeking 1 March increases of 5 cents/lb.
December and January contracts previously settled flat on seasonal demand softness and the absence of price-hike proposals from most producers.
Among feedstock, US March propylene contracts could see a double-digit reduction based on weakening spot refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices, some sources said. RGP traded down on Friday compared with a week earlier, but market activity was thin.
February CGP recently settled up by 6 cents/lb, moving the price to 77.5 cents/lb.
On the US truck acetone front, prices recently moved higher from January on tighter supply and rising feedstock costs.
US isopropanol (IPA) contract values increased by 10 cents/lb on a pre-discount basis on stronger feedstock pricing, but supply constraints were said to be easing.
US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Haltermann and Sasol.
($1 = €0.76)
For more on MIBK, visit the ICIS Plants & Projects database
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