Some US plasticizers prices rise on upstream pressure

16 September 2016 23:58 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--September prices for some of the US plasticizers were assessed higher on Friday, mostly on pressure from upstream August propylene.

Spot gains of 2-3 cents/lb ($44-66/tonne) were assessed for plasticizers including dioctyl adipate (DOA), dioctyl phthalate (DOP), trioctyl trimellitate (TOTM), dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) and di-2-propylheptyl phthalate (DPHP).

The increase for DOTP, for example, took the range to 65-70 cents/lb DEL (delivered), as assessed by ICIS.

Di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) was not confirmed higher this week despite a previously proposed increase of 4 cents/lb ($88/tonne) from ExxonMobil, effective 15 September. A major buyer said the product is well-supplied in the US, and that he had seen no increases yet.

The 3.5 cent/lb ($77/tonne) increase in the August propylene contract was only part of what pushed prices higher this month, sources said.

A buyer cited DOTP price pressure stemming from Eastman Chemical’s DOTP anti-dumping petition against South Korea, which was filed in June with the International Trade Commission (ITC).

In the meantime, US October price efforts surfaced this week.

BASF said it will seek October price increases of 4 cents/lb for its DOA, DOTP, TOTM and DPHP. The company cited higher operating costs mostly from raw materials.

Except for DPHP, the other products are produced with 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH), a derivative of propylene. Feedstock for DPHP is 2-propyl heptanol alcohol (2PH).

Also this week, Eastman separately proposed 4 cent/lb October hikes for its DOA, dioctyl phthalate (DOP) and TOTM.

Propylene has been pressured higher for several weeks by downstream demand amid cracker maintenance outages. September propylene has been nominated higher by 7 cents/lb and 8 cents/lb.

By Larry Terry