US January acrylates contracts settle flat on market softness

05 February 2014 22:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylates contracts for January settled late and flat on market softness despite pressure from upstream December propylene, most sources said on Wednesday.

The rollover held glacial acrylic acid (GAA) contract prices at $1.08-1.12/lb ($2,381-2,469/tonne), as assessed by ICIS

January pricing had been muddy, with some acrylates settlements heard widely ranging from declines of 2 cents/lb to gains of 2-3 cents/lb. However, most buyers cited rollovers.

A buyer confirmed a January 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) settlement at $1.18/lb, which is within that product’s ICIS range for December.

“It’s believable, but not expected,” the buyer said, adding that sources felt the price should be a couple of cents-per-pound cheaper.

A buyer of GAA and another of the esters said its prices were flat to cheaper for January, and that even February initiatives of 3-5 cents/lb were unlikely to stick fully, if at all, stemming from demand that has lagged expectations.

However, some January acrylates increases of 2-3 cents/lb were said to have been implemented.

As for the upcoming spring paint and coatings season, talk of weather-related delays reminiscent of those in 2013 have begun to surface. Recent winter storms have hit the northeast, and there are forecasts of below-normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall this winter across much of the US, which will delay the typical paint build ahead of spring.

"Global weather patterns are showing a repeat of last year,” a buyer said. “There’s not enough ground-breaking going on to drive demand, so much of it will be storm-damage repair, and that isn’t indicative of a healthy economy.”

Major US producers include Arkema, Dow Chemical and BASF.

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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