US butac distributor March increases nullified by propylene drop

19 March 2013 16:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butyl acetate (butac) increases for March proposed by producers have been nullified by recent drops in feedstock propylene, sources said on Tuesday.

Some customers initially accepted 5 cent/lb ($110/tonne, €85/tonne) increases proposed by producers Eastman Chemical and Oxea for 1 March, sources said, but drops in chemical-grade propylene (CGP) prices over the past two weeks erased the hikes.

Distributor prices on Tuesday remained unchanged at the pre-March price of 93-96 cents/lb, sources said.

“Prices will probably come down soon,” a distributor said.

Producers put customers on sales allocations to support the March hikes, but sources said the allocations have been lifted and that material is not hard to get.

CGP spot prices as assessed by ICIS have dropped by 7% in March to a current average of 62.69 cents/lb from an average of 67.50 cents/lb on 1 March.

Butac prices continue to be driven more by feedstock prices and less by demand, which remains weak.

Refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices have been falling from weak demand for polymer-grade propylene (PGP) and downstream polypropylene (PP).

US propylene inventories increased for the second consecutive week despite lower operating rates.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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