08 May 2013 00:18 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--May contract prices for US maleic anhydride (MA) moved higher by 1% from April, sources confirmed on Tuesday.
MA prices are assessed by ICIS at 92.20-98.20 cents/lb ($2,033-2,165/tonne, €1,545-1,645/tonne).
A steady decline in the price of primary feedstock normal butane had put downward pressure on MA for several weeks, resulting in a price decrease in April.
As May contract discussions began, buyers were pushing for another decrease.
However, while the normal butane price decrease continued, a more recent constriction in supply caused by outages and turnarounds at some production facilities allowed producers to argue against a decrease.
In some cases, they were able to implement marginal increases, depending on how great a decrease customers had seen the month before.
One producer said it has begun full production again after a few idle days caused by a problem receiving feedstock from suppliers. It said the brief interruption has not caused it to seek a price increase.
Another producer said that given the fact that butane prices have continued to fall in May, downward pressure on MA pricing is expected to continue. There is unlikely to be any discussion of a price increase in the near term, the producer said.
Major US producers of MA include Ashland, Flint Hills Resources and LANXESS.
($1 = €0.76)
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