16 July 2013 21:17 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow’s proposal to raise US vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) prices by 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) puzzled buyers on Tuesday, most of whom said it made no sense considering the recent drop in a key feedstock.
In a customer letter dated today, Dow said the increase was effective immediately but did not give a reason. The hike applies only to VAM in North America.
A buyer cited the recent three-month settlement in ethylene, which was a 2.5 cent/lb decline from the previous settlement, as a reason for doubt.
“I don't get this one,” the buyer said in an email. “They aren't called the Callous Dowboys for nothing.”
VAM buyers last week criticised a similar nomination by Celanese, saying demand was not strong enough to support a hike.
VAM spot FOB export prices held steady during the week at $940-1040/tonne.
Besides ethylene, another VAM feedstock - US acetic acid - dropped $25-50/tonne this week on the restart of a Celanese plant in Clear Lake, Texas, that had been down for repairs following a maintenance turnaround.
“It makes no sense,” another buyer said of the Dow VAM nomination.
Major VAM producers in the US besides Dow include Celanese, DuPont and LyondellBasell.
($1 = €0.77)
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