US acetic acid buyers say too early to tell on success of hikes

12 March 2013 19:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetic acid buyers on Wednesday said it is too early to tell whether the market will accept recent 3 cent/lb increases sought by producers.

Late last week, BP issued an increase by that amount effective from 1 April, citing rising raw-material and logistics costs as well as increased market demand.

In late February, Eastman issued a similar proposal to become effective on 15 March, citing rising feedstock costs.

A buyer doubted that the producers will achieve all of the increases they are seeking because the market is not tight enough yet in terms of supply.

A seller disagreed, saying: “We’re struggling to keep up with demand.”

The latest increase proposals come after a rise in the spot price in late February that stemmed from rising March methanol contracts and Celanese’s move putting US and European acetic acid customers on allocation.

In a late-February customer letter, Celanese said the allocation stemmed from disruptions in the supply of a key raw material at its Clear Lake, Texas, plant. Acetic acid’s primary use is as a feedstock for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), a key ingredient in paints and coatings.

VAM buyers on Tuesday said they have seen no impact from Celanese’s allocation and the proposed acetic acid increases.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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