Price and market trends: US phthalic anhydride contracts fall

13 June 2014 10:43 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

US phthalic anhydride (PA) contract prices for June moved down from last month on the back of softer contract pricing for feedstock orthoxylene (OX) in May and amid a steady market, ICIS assessed on 3 June.

PA June contracts are down by 1.25 cents/lb ($28/tonne) from May. PA molten contract prices are at 71.75-76.75 cents/lb free on board (FOB) from 73.00-78.00 cents/lb FOB in May. PA flake contract prices are at 72.75-79.75 cents/lb delivered (DEL) from 74.00-81.00 cents/lb DEL in May.

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

Some buyers were said to be delaying orders from last month to this month because they were waiting for prices to come down, market participants have said.

Despite lower prices, the market is expected to remain stable going into June as no significant changes in supply and demand fundamentals are expected.

Demand in May was slightly improved over April and market participants had no reason to believe that June would be much different.

At least one buyer, however, has said that demand did not pick up as the market had anticipated and he has been using less PA in April, May and June because of this.

Construction is a major end-use outlet for PA, as it is an ingredient in plasticizers used for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used largely in construction materials.

By Feliza Mirasol