09 July 2013 21:04 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July domestic epoxy resins contracts fell, sources confirmed on Tuesday, tracking longer supply and steady to slightly softer demand.
“It’s always like this,” a producer said. “When feedstocks are stable and demand is only OK, the imports come in and prices drop.”
US July epoxy resins contract prices were assessed at $1.44-$1.52/lb ($3,175-3,351/tonne, €2,476-2,614/tonne) on a DEL bulk (delivered in bulk) basis.
This represents a 3-4 cent/lb drop from June levels, which were assessed by ICIS at $1.47-1.56/lb DEL bulk.
Sources said initial talks for July started with producers seeking a rollover and buyers looking for a 2-3 cent/lb drop.
However, as demand has been stagnant at best, domestic supply lengthened because of strong operating rates from US producers.
“These guys have more stuff than they need,” a buyer said. “They’re probably wishing they hadn’t made so much.”
The lengthening domestic supply coupled with continued strong imports of less expensive overseas material to give buyers leverage.
“If the US guys want to be more competitive, they’ve got to be more competitive,” another buyer said. “The offshore material keeps dropping in price.”
Sources said most offshore material is being offered at $1.35-1.40/lb DEL bulk, although some offers as low as $1.33/lb have been heard.
Offshore sellers are being aggressive, especially out of Asia, because their domestic markets have been experiencing weak demand, US buyers and sellers said.
Major US epoxy resins producers include Dow Chemical, Huntsman and Momentive.
($1 = €0.78)
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