25 March 2013 02:37 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US Q2 butanediol (BDO) contract negotiations will have a jump start during the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) in San Antonio, a source at US specialty chemicals producer Ashland said on Sunday.
Two US producers announced that they are seeking Q2 price increases ranging from 4-6 cents/lb (€62-92/tonne), depending on grade, leading to the start of negotiations.
Ashland’s proposal is based on a currently balanced US BDO market after a slow start of the year that resulted in a minus 4 cents/lb settlement for the first quarter.
The market has tightened considerably in the last month, and this could perhaps be the result of an outage by one of the US producers. However, this could not be verified with the affected producer immediately.
The other important factor in the negotiations, from the point of view of producers, is that the Q2 settlement is an opportunity to restore margins that were overly affected by past settlements.
Although most buyers have not yet expressed their ideas about Q2 prices, there is some support for the increase from the tetrahydrofuran (THF) segment of the market.
Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the IPC continues through 26 March.
($1 = €0.77)
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