HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acetic acid export prices continued to rise this week, up by $25/tonne on tightening domestic and global supply, sources said on Tuesday.
Export prices rose to $725-775/tonne FOB (free on board) from $700-750/tonne last week.
A buyer this week reported purchasing material in the low $800/tonne level, but this could not be confirmed.
Sources attributed the increase to a domestic North American market that remains tight from an explosion at Eastman Chemical’s Tennessee plant in early October last year.
Eastman said in late December that repairs on the coal-gasification unit that was damaged by the explosion have been finished and that the restart should be underway in early 2018.
US sources this week said Eastman was telling customers the unit would restart in February.
Celanese announced a 4 cent/lb hike for December. Two producers issued separate proposals for January, with LyondellBasell announcing a hike of 3 cents lb and Eastman of 5 cents/lb.
In the first two weeks of 2018, US acetic acid export prices have increased 3 cents/lb.