AFPM '13: Buyers split over more US acetic acid increases

25 March 2013 19:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--US acetic acid buyers appeared to be split over the most recent producer increases, speaking on Monday from the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

LyondellBasell issued a 4 cent/lb increase for 1 April for the Americas, in addition to the 3 cent/lb hike proposed for 1 March.

Late last week, Celanese proposed a 3.5 cent/lb hike for the Americas, effective immediately.

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. Neither Lyondell nor Celanese provided a reason for the hikes.

A distributor said the market would probably accept some but not all of the increases. But another buyer said acetyls increases have become almost an annual event prior to and during the annual San Antonio conference.

“My position is that I’m not giving them anything,” the buyer said. “The world is still awash in acetic acid.”

US acetic acid FOB (free on board) export prices this week remained at $650-700/tonne (€500-539/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

Another buyer could not tell yet where acetyls market sentiment was leaning.

“The next two weeks will be the tell-tale sign,” the buyer said.

Hosted by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the IPC continues through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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