US July acrylates settle flat on lacklustre conditions

31 July 2013 22:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US July acrylic acid and acrylate esters freely negotiated contract prices rolled over from June on generally soft fundamentals, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

Although an increase was reported by a producer, and a couple of buyers said they had seen incremental gains, the consensus among market sources was that initiatives of 3-5 cents/lb ($66-110/tonne, €50-83/tonne) were not broadly successful among customers who negotiate monthly pricing.

Major feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) for June previously gained 2 cents/lb.

The July acrylates rollover holds glacial acrylic acid (GAA) contract prices at $1.08-1.12/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

Despite the suggestion that July initiatives were mostly attempts to prevent prices from slipping, a couple of customers said prices were beginning to soften and suggested that August could see marginal price weakness.

“I just don’t see that (producers) have any near- or intermediate-term forces driving increases,” a buyer said.

Producers had no comments on that suggestion, but one seller that achieved some increases in July said it was not likely to pursue August acrylates increases, citing the 1 cent/lb increase in July CGP, balanced acrylates market conditions and still-lagging construction demand.

Downstream, statistics indicated that the US economy modestly accelerated during the second quarter, stemming from heightened personal consumption expenditures, exports and investments. The US Bureau of Economic Analysis assessed second-quarter GDP at 1.7%, an increase from 1.1% in the first quarter.

Inhibiting the second-quarter GDP rate was decreased federal spending due to the sequester budget cuts and an increase in imports, the bureau said.

US acrylates producers include Arkema, BASF and Dow Chemical.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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