US March MIBK contract prices soften on weak market

29 March 2013 22:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US March methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) contract hikes implemented early in the month lost traction, pulling prices down by an average of 5 cents/lb ($110/tonne, €86/tonne) at the low end of the range, sources confirmed on Friday.

The decline took the March MIBK contract range to $1.23-1.30/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

However, one producer with outlier pricing lowered its contract values by a significantly larger margin, sources said. Although the 5 cent/lb drop was broadly implemented, some contracts ended up at rollovers after prices stabilised.

Weakening feedstock and soft demand continues to pressure prices downward, and most sources expect declines in April or at least less volatile price movements during the coming month.

Among feedstock, US April propylene contracts are expected to fall by at least 6-7 cents/lb from March on softer demand and lower spot price values, sources said during the week, but the fall could be steeper.

On the US truck acetone front, March prices continued to trend lower on weaker propylene, though supply continues to be constrained by reduced phenol production. Barge and truck prices for March settled down by 5 cents/lb and 6 cents/lb, respectively.

US isopropanol (IPA) March contract values were assessed down by 3 cents/lb on weakening propylene.

US MIBK suppliers include Dow Chemical, Haltermann and Sasol.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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