US Oct oxo-alcohols roll over on weak demand, feedstock

19 October 2013 00:10  [Source: ICIS news]

(updates with contract prices)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US oxo-alcohols contracts were assessed on Friday at a rollover for October as soft demand and declining feedstock prices quashed producer price initiatives.

Price increases announced by Eastman Chemical and Oxea five weeks ago had been based on rising costs for feedstock propylene. They followed similar price increases for the September contract.

At that time, price increases of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €49/tonne) were quickly accepted for n-butanol, (NBA), isobutanol (IBA) and 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH).

Propylene prices have since fallen back. October contract prices for chemical-grade propylene (CGP) settled down 2.5 cents/lb last week, its lowest price since May and ended any further increases for the month, at least from buyers’ perspectives.

Additionally, oxo-alcohol downstream demand fell off in the first weeks of October during the federal government shut down.

Export demand was said to be softening, as well. Weakening export demand for 2-EH caused the ICIS export price to be adjusted downward by $30/tonne on deals heard $20-40/tonne lower for November delivery.

Export prices for NBA and isobutanol IBA held steady, in line with the October contracts for domestic sales.

Domestic supply was been described as long.

Some uptake for NBA was reported on word of an expected and extended planned maintenance turnaround, tentatively scheduled for the first half of 2014. Details could not be confirmed.

US October contract prices as assessed by ICIS are: NBA at 97-105 cents/lb, IBA at 135-136 cents/lb and 2-EH at 108-110/cents/lb.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Bill Bowen
+1 713 525 2653

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