US Dec PA contract prices fall 4 cents/lb on feedstock decline

03 December 2013 22:24  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--US phthalic anhydride (PA) prices for December contracts were assessed down by 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne, €65/tonne), following the decline in the feedstock orthoxylene (OX) contract price in November.

Monthly US PA contract prices typically settle on the delta of the previous month’s OX contract.

December price ranges are at 76-81 cents/lb free on board (FOB) molten from 80-85 cents/lb FOB molten in November and 77-84 cents/lb delivered (DEL) flake from 81-88 cents/lb DEL flake in November, as assessed by ICIS.

Market sources said that OX trends were the primary driving factor in the downswing of PA prices, as demand has been soft and not much of a factor in pricing.

PA prices have declined approximately 8% in December from October.

Demand is expected to continue unchanged throughout the end of the year as December is typically a soft month when customers keep close watch on inventories, said a market participant.

The lower prices are not expected to make much of a difference in demand, the source said.

Ample supply has returned to the market as the temporary tightness seen over the past month has ended.

Some market players expect that January will be a better month for demand.

PA is a key intermediate in the production of plasticizers, which are used to make products such as flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PA is also used in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR).

Major US PA producers include BASF, ExxonMobil, Koppers and Stepan.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Feliza Mirasol
+1 713 525 2653

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