HOUSTON (ICIS)--US epoxy resin spot prices are set to start climbing in September, sources said on Tuesday, on a decline in import volumes.
Buyers and traders said that there is still some material below $1.30/lb ($2,866/tonne), but that sellers will start pushing for prices in the mid-$1.30s/lb in September and October.
“For it to be worth my time here, it has to be around $1.35/lb or $1.36/lb,” a trader said. “Otherwise, I might as well sell it in Europe.”
Sources said that several factors are pushing up on overseas prices, especially out of Asia.
The biggest factor in Asia has been extreme tightness in the feedstock bisphenol A (BPA) market, which has pushed epoxy resin prices higher.
Also, demand in Asia has improved, lessening the need for sellers to chase volumes in the US or in Europe.
A US buyer added that several Asian countries are being assessed tariffs that are typically waived, because the US government has not renewed the waivers.
The buyer said that when the waiver of the tariffs is voted on, it is expected to pass, but the vote has not come up on any schedules.
The drop in import availability, coupled with continued low US prices, has narrowed the gap between material to 2-3 cents/lb, sources said.
Demand in the US is also expected to start tapering off on the end of the peak coatings season.