US acetic acid buyers wary of Celanese increase for mid-February

28 January 2014 20:35 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetic acid buyers sounded wary on Tuesday of Celanese’s proposal to raise prices by 1.5 cents/lb on 15 February.

Celanese cited no reason for the proposal in its 22 January announcement. But other producers cited raw material increases for price hikes in January.

“It's becoming comical,” a buyer said on Tuesday. “These used to mean something.”

US methanol spot barge prices have held to a tight range recently, staying in the low 160 cents/gal range so far in January.

Producers raised FOB (free on board) export and spot prices late in the year and in January, with Celanese issuing raises by a cumulative 5 cents/lb and then the much smaller increase for February.

Another buyer said producers have achieved only about half of the hikes they put forth for December and January.

“I don’t think it’s time for another increase,” the buyer said.

US acetic acid FOB export prices held steady this week, at 32-34 cents/lb ($705-750/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.

By Lane Kelley