26 April 2013 10:10 [Source: ICB]
US April epoxy resin contract prices widened because of a split settlement, sources said.
Several buyers and producers confirmed on 16 April that some US April epoxy resins contracts rolled over, while others increased by 4-8 cents/lb ($88-176/tonne, €68-136/tonne).
"Have we seen a volume impact on going up? That would be fair to say," a producer said. "But everyone knew more imports were coming in."
The split settlement puts ICIS assessments for domestic epoxy resins at $1.52-1.62/lb DEL bulk (delivered in bulk) for material shipped in April.
The producer said the 4-8 cents/lb rise has widened the imported epoxy resins arbitrage window.
Sources said import pricing is $1.38-1.45/lb DEL bulk, and that demand is strong for April orders to arrive in May and early June.
"The problem is the gap between the two is too wide," a buyer said. "There is a lot of frustration with the domestic producers."
It added that the main reason producers attempted to push contract prices higher - low margins - is affecting the entire chain.
Producers said steady pricing at the end of 2012 eroded margins as feedstock costs for benzene and propylene derivatives soared.
Most players expect a drop in May contract settlements, but no nominations have been heard.
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