US January MA contracts roll over in balanced-to-tight market

14 January 2014 22:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US January maleic anhydride (MA) contracts have settled at a rollover, sources said on Tuesday.

The rollover puts January MA contracts at 79.7-85.7 cents/lb ($1,757-1,889/tonne) on an FOB (free on board) basis for molten material.

Buyers and sellers agreed that MA pricing is likely to hold steady until feedstock butane prices move strongly in either direction.

Butane prices have held within a 12 cent/gal range since declining in mid-October.

The steadiness in butane has surprised most MA players, who said prices typically increase in the winter months.

Sources said that the MA market is balanced to tight, with at least one producer running at lower rates and sources saying another producer has a planned turnaround soon.

This has led buyers to say that only one US MA producer has spot material available, which is being offered at a premium of 1-3 cents/lb above contract prices.

MA demand is not expected to pick up until the spring and summer, and most sources said sales have been flat year on year, especially if combined with December 2013 sales.

Major US MA producers include Ashland, Flint Hills Resources, Huntsman and LANXESS.


By: John Dietrich
713-525-2600



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