Price and market trends: US fatty alcohols contracts settle up

11 October 2013 09:58  [Source: ICB]

Fourth-quarter US fatty alcohol contract settlements have been widely completed, sources said on 2 October.

The fourth-quarter mid-cut detergent alcohol range was assessed at 86-99 cents/lb ($1,896-2,183/tonne), increasing 2.50-3.0 cents/lb from the third quarter.

Buyers and sellers said the mid-cut detergent range alcohol contracts moved up on strong demand from industrial end-uses and good demand from the home care surfactant segment.

Sellers sought higher prices on the mid-cuts because of tightening supply conditions in Asia, the primary feedstock and production region for the alcohols.

Buyers were willing to accept increased prices largely because of expectations of a supply crunch during the fourth quarter.

Market sources said that synthetic mid-cut alcohols were also considered to be in tighter supply for the fourth quarter.

In the C16-18 heavy chain blended alcohols, fourth-quarter contracts were assessed at a rollover from the third quarter.

Buyers and sellers of the heavy chain alcohols said that feedstock prices moderated and both groups acknowledged that US demand in the key personal care end-use sector remains flat going into the fourth quarter.

The US is a large net importer of natural alcohols, which are primarily produced from palm kernel oil.

Domestic mid-cut synthetic alcohols are produced by Shell and Sasol, using ethylene and gas-to-liquids processes, respectively.

By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653

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