Additional US March glycol ethers initiatives emerge

Source: ICIS News

2019/02/13

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Additional price-increase initiatives for US March propylene-based glycol ethers have emerged from Equistar Chemicals.

The producer previously announced plans to seek gains of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) for its ethylene-series glycol ethers, effective 1 March, citing expected gains in feedstock propylene and ethylene during the second quarter.

The new initiatives seek increases of 3 cents/lb each for propylene glycol methyl ether (PM) and propylene glycol methyl ether acetate (PMA).

The current PM range is $1.00-1.09/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

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Separate price-hike efforts that surfaced last week seek increases of 3-5 cents/lb for all of the products, which also include butyl glycol (BG) and butyl di-glycol (BDG)

Near-term glycol ethers demand will be at least moderately higher if downstream coatings forecasts of similarly higher year-on-year buying interest this spring and summer are accurate.

Projections of 2-7% increases in paint demand have emerged, but the typical seasonal uptick will be tempered by headwinds including muted economies in Europe and Asia and a slump in global automobile production.

Separate current price-hike initiatives are as follows:

Producer Product Cents/lb Effective date
Dow Chemical BG, BDG 5 1 March
Dow Chemical PM, PMA 3 1 March
Eastman Chemical BG, BDG 5 1 March
Equistar Chemicals PM, PMA 3 1 March
Equistar Chemicals BG, BDG 4 1 March

Glycol ethers are predominantly used in the paints and coatings industry, though other uses include inks, cleaning products, plasticizers, brake fluids, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and personal care products.

US suppliers of glycol ethers include LyondellBasell, Dow Chemical, Eastman Chemical and Sasol.