Bayer seeks 8 cent/lb N America PC hike for March on higher costs

03 February 2014 21:27 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Bayer MaterialScience has announced an 8 cent/lb ($176/tonne) price increase for its polycarbonate (PC) resins in North America, effective on 3 March, according to a customer letter dated Monday.

"We continue to experience a sustained cost escalation of key raw materials used to manufacture Apec, Makrolon, Bayblend and Makroblend engineering thermoplastic resins," the producer said in the letter. "It is necessary for us to pass a portion of this increased cost on to you."

Bayer is seeking the 8 cent/lb increase for its Apec and Makrolon PC resins.

A 6 cent/lb will affect its Bayblend resins – which are PC blends with acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) or acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA) – as well as its Makroblend resins – which are PC blends with polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Bayer is the third major PC producer in the US to seek a price hike, following announcements of a 7 cent/lb increase by SABIC Innovative Plastics and an 8 cent/lb increase by Styron.

Buyers said the industry should know by mid-March whether those price increase initiatives actually took hold.

However, rising prices for upstream benzene seems to be pushing up prices for many chemicals, including PC, ABS, nylon 6 and polystyrene (PS), sources said.

US benzene contract prices rose by an average increase of 38.5 cents/gal in December and 35.5 cents/gal in January. Spot prices reached record highs in mid-January, although they have softened a little since then.

Still, the US PC market remains flat amid typically slow demand for the first quarter and no major production issues, so participants are hesitant to weigh in on the success rate of implementation.

Currently, ICIS has assessed the spot price of bulk general purpose moulding grade PC at $1.60-1.92/lb.

Major US PC producers include Bayer MaterialScience, Styron and Sabic Innovative Plastics.

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By Tracy Dang