08 August 2013 21:27 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS) -- US imports of melamine fell in June but for the year continue ahead of 2012 as domestic production problems created demand and pushed down exports, according to data released by the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Thursday.
US melamine imports fell 17% for the month, down to 2,819 tonnes compared to 3,410 tonnes imported in May, according to the ITC report.
For the year, total US imports hit 16,370 tonnes in June compared to 14,325 tonnes in the first six months of 2012, the ITC report said.
The month marks the period when Cornerstone Chemical, the only US melamine producer, experienced production slowdowns and ended a force majeure.
Similarly, Southern Chemical, which imports melamine from a Methanol Holdings plant in Trinidad and Tobago, was forced to reduce its US imports because of natural gas allocation in that Caribbean island state that has reduced supply to commercial users.
Since then, melamine imports from Germany, China and the Netherlands have risen significantly, according to the ITC.
US melamine exports have declined, down to 1,978 tonnes in June, compared to 2,340 tonnes in May and from 2,543 tonnes in June 2012, according to the report. Exports are up only to the United Kingdom and Germany, where some product swaps may have happened as US buyers sought cover during the domestic outtages in the second quarter, according to market participants.
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