Initial US July acrylates roll over on ample supply, stable demand

18 July 2013 23:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices were initially settling flat from June on ample supply and stable-but-lacklustre demand, sources said on Thursday.

Several buyers said they had settled at rollovers this week, citing plentiful material and weak or delayed demand from architectural coatings. One producer said it achieved some small gains for July, but also conceded that several of its contracts had rolled over.

If the full market settles flat, July glacial acrylic acid (GAA) prices will hold at $1.08-1.12/lb ($2,381-2,469/tonne, €1,810-1,876/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

Previously, June acrylates also settled at rollovers.

The major producers proposed July increases of 3-5 cents/lb for July based on rising manufacturing costs, but buyers immediately pushed back, saying the efforts were largely attempts to stem further acrylates price erosion.

That concern is well-founded, several customers said.

 “All the pre-manufacturing [of paint] that was going to be done for the summer is done,” one buyer said. “The paint stores are already stocked. There will be no rescue now that we’re in the middle of summer. Fundamentally, we’re now looking at autumn demand, which will absorb what’s on the shelves.”

Feedstock gains typically push acrylates pricing upward, but pressure from June chemical-grade propylene (CGP) increases of 2 cents/lb was mitigated by overall market softness.

Among feedstock, CGP contracts for July recently settled up by 1 cent/lb, increasing the likelihood of further anaemic acrylates pricing this summer unless demand improves significantly in the next few weeks.

July n-butanol (NBA) contract values weakened marginally and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) settled flat this week despite supply-side efforts to boost monthly pricing.

US acrylates producers include Dow Chemical, Arkema and BASF.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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