12 March 2013 20:47 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US domestic epoxy resins contracts increased by more than 5% for material shipped in March, sources said on Tuesday.
Buyers and producers said domestic contract prices increased 8 cents/lb ($176/tonne, €136/tonne) after producers had nominated price increases of 10 cents/lb.
Some buyers said they did not take any price increases in March, but added that they had pre-bought material in February to avoid higher prices.
Most market players said March pricing is within the $1.52-1.59/lb range on a DEL bulk (delivered in bulk) basis. February pricing was assessed by ICIS at $1.44-1.51/lb DEL bulk.
“There is support for higher prices from benzene and propylene costs,” a buyer said.
Producers argued that the increases in March came from a need to restore margins after feedstock benzene and propylene costs surged in the first quarter.
However, several buyers said any efforts to increase April pricing will be met with stiff resistance.
“We can buy from importers because they’re on the shore and trying to sell material,” another buyer said.
Buyers said early indications have overseas material going for 9-10 cents/lb for material ordered in March, although once the US price increase takes full effect the gap could narrow.
Major US producers of epoxy resins include Dow Chemical, Huntsman and Momentive.
($1 = €0.77)
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