Price and market trends: US acrylates contracts settle flat

14 February 2014 00:00 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

US acrylates contracts for January settled late and flat on market softness despite pressure from upstream December propylene, most sources said on 5 February.

The rollover held glacial acrylic acid (GAA) contract prices at $1.08-1.12/lb ($2,381-2,469/tonne), as assessed by ICIS. January pricing had been muddy, with some acrylates settlements heard widely ranging from declines of 2 cents/lb to gains of 2-3 cents/lb. However, most buyers cited rollovers.

A buyer confirmed a January 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) settlement at $1.18/lb, which is within that product’s ICIS range for December. “It’s believable, but not expected,” the buyer said, adding that sources felt the price should be a couple of cents-per-pound cheaper.

A buyer of GAA and another of the esters said its prices were flat to cheaper for January, and that even February initiatives of 3-5 cents/lb were unlikely to stick fully, if at all, stemming from demand that has lagged ­expectations. However, some January acrylates rises of 2-3 cents/lb were said to have been implemented.

As for the upcoming spring paint and coatings season, talk of weather-related delays reminiscent of those in 2013 have begun to surface. “There’s not enough ground-breaking going on to drive demand, so much of it will be storm-damage repair, and that isn’t indicative of a healthy economy,” a buyer said

By Larry Terry