US March maleic anhydride rolls over on steady butane

18 March 2014 21:12 Source:ICIS News

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

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

Buyers said the rollover comes despite market tightness stemming from several plant production issues in the first quarter.

However, sources said the supply tightness should start to ease slightly in April as production rates improve.

The supply tightness moved spot MA to a premium of 8-10 cents/lb above contract material, sources said.

This is up from a premium of 1-3 cents/lb seen in January.

MA contracts were also pushed toward a rollover because of steadying feedstock costs for butane, which have held in the mid-$1.20s/gal for the past four weeks.

Demand for MA has started to improve, sources said, but is still being slowed slightly by weather-related issues in much of the US.

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

By John Dietrich