US glycol ethers contracts settle at a rollover on weak demand

19 October 2013 00:21  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US October contract for glycol ethers settled at a rollover on Friday amid weak demand and steady feedstock prices.

Prices largely held steady with little buying interest, as feedstock prices for propylene fell back slightly for the month and were stable during the week on the spot market. Ethylene prices also were steady.

The expected seasonal buying for end-use antifreeze and de-icer products has not kicked into high gear, a distributor said.

Price increase initiatives of 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €49/tonne) for ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EB), diethylene monobutyl glycol (DB), proplyene glycol methyl ether (PM) and propylene glycol methyl acetate (PMA) failed to be accepted by buyers after having just accepted similar increases in September.

Overall demand had held through September, based mostly on downstream demand for de-icing and antifreeze products as well as some paints and coatings.

Both buyers and producers described demand as softening during the first part of October. A major producer attributed some of the lack of buyer interest to economic uncertainty as Congress battled through a budget and debt-limit stalemate that only ended on Thursday. A buyer cited adequate supplies and the ability to await November delivery in hopes of prices going lower in that month.

Prices for feedstocks ethylene and chemical grade propylene (CGP) were stable. Ethylene was at a 15-month low last week, down $100/tonne. The October contract for CPG settled down $55/tonne.

Glycol ether prices as assessed by ICIS are: EB at 90-93 cents/lb, DB at 102-104 cents/lb, and PM and PMA each at 112-114 cents/lb.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Bill Bowen
+1 713 525 2653

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