ICIS has a network of locally based reporters providing coverage of regional Butyl acetate markets. They provide not just pricing information, but an in-depth understanding of the factors driving prices and market fluctuations.
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Updated to Q4 2016
US butyl acetate (butac) free-market contract prices moved up by an average of 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne) from late September through the fourth quarter of 2016, primarily on pressure from upstream propylene.
Olefins turnarounds and unplanned outages helped drive up propylene costs by 3.5 cents/lb for August and by 6 cents/lb in September. That helped butac producers realize increases of 4 cents/lb in late September and another 3 cents/lb in October.
Gains were limited by expected seasonal slowdowns and ample inventories.
Demand continued atypically steady, though, into November, counterbalancing a 1.5 cent/lb drop in October propylene. As propylene supply returned to the market, it yielded a 6 cent/lb drop in November propylene, but December butac prices were said likely not to move down proportionally on producers’ resolve to maintain margins and not give up price for seasonally small volumes.
Meanwhile, US butac freely negotiated contract values were proposed higher for January by one producer, with separate January efforts expected. A buyer suggested the initiatives are driven by margin-expansion efforts. The buyer said, however, that weakening seasonal demand, ample supply and likely weaker feedstock values through the end of the year argue against any near-term gains.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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