Europe July butac price hikes meet resistance from buyers

04 July 2014 17:26 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European butyl acetate (butac) producers have so far been largely unsuccessful in achieving their targets for July spot price hikes because of resistance from customers, sources said on Friday.

Price hikes for feedstocks propylene and acetic acid drove butac producers to seek increases of €50-60/tonne.

One producer explained how it revised its initial target down by €20/tonne, but is still struggling to do business.

“Buyer resistance is strong,” the source said.

A distributor said: “[The butac spot market is] Still pretty dead. All the producers tried to increase by around €50/tonne. Prices need to be around €1,100/tonne [FD], but it’s very hard to get there. You always have customers pushing and pushing [for lower prices]. We're losing money on it [butac].”

One producer said last week that propylene prices had increased by close to €100/tonne since November, while butac prices have remained relatively flat.

Producers have seen their margins decline month after month.

However, one butac producer said it has achieved some of the increase it was seeking. “It would have been a disaster if we hadn’t increased [prices]. [There was an] Absolute need to do that,” it said.

“Customers are accepting [higher prices]. They always try to renegotiate pricing, but this time they came back and are telling us that the others [suppliers] are also increasing [prices] as well,” teh producer added.

By Jo Pitches