US butac prices expected to remain steady: sources

12 November 2013 21:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US butyl acetate (butac) sources said on Tuesday that price increase nominations by Eastman Chemical and Oxea Chemical were not finding traction, despite continued strong demand for the product.

They predicted that butac prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future.

“They’ve rolled those back,” a source said of the nominations. “They’re not going to get those. Demand is still strong, but propylene has been soft and going down. There’s no reason for this.”

Oxea had nominated a 3 cent/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) increase for the month. Sources had indicated last week that the company was not likely to get the full increase, but instead will see a 1.5 cent hike.

This week, that sentiment shifted.

US November propylene contracts remain unsettled, and sources have said they expect a settlement at a slight decline. One producer last week nominated a rollover for November contracts, and another nominated a decline of 0.5 cent/lb. Sources have indicated to ICIS that they expect a decline of 1-2 cents for November propylene contracts.

Propylene prices over the last couple of months have been flat-to-declining.

Propylene movement affects many petrochemicals, and price increases and declines are tied to propylene.

Another butac source indicated that demand for butac has been “fairly strong” for most of 2013 and will likely remain strong the rest of the year. But the source did not expect price increases.

“I think as long as feedstocks are stable or going down, butyl acetate will not see increases,” the source said.

Major US butyl acetate producers include Eastman Chemical and Oxea Chemical.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Andrew Guy Jr
+1 713 525 2653

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