Buyers sceptical of Dow’s November US acrylates price push
15 October 2012 23:21 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US acrylic acid and acrylate esters producer Dow Chemical announced on Monday its intent to raise domestic November contract prices by 7 cents/lb ($154/tonne, €119/tonne), citing expected volatility in feedstock pricing, but buyers maintained the initiative was not justified.
“This is shocking,” one buyer said. “This increase is certainly not justified by current or expected future propylene increases.”
Feedstock chemical-grade propylene (CGP) for October settled up by 1.5 cents/lb, just below nominated levels. Although it fell sharply in May and June, CGP settled flat for July, weakened by 1.50 cents/lb for August and settled up by just 1.00 cent/lb for September.
Some sources have suggested November CGP may be nominated up only nominally.
“I think they may also be trying to benefit from the Nippon Shokubai accident,” the buyer said of Dow.
In that late September incident at Himeji, Japan, an explosion at an acrylic acid plant curtailed most operations at the site. Though there has been speculation of severe shortages of acrylic acid, supply fears have been little more than speculation so far.
Current US acrylic acid contract prices are $1.09-1.13/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
US October acrylic acid and acrylate esters contract prices recently rolled over from September, the third flat settlement in as many months.
US acrylates producers include Dow, Arkema and BASF.
Now we know Arkema has undercut Dow by a penny with a 6 cent increase and guess who hasn't announced a price increase in acryic acid at all? BASF. They are busy signing customers to November contracts leaving Arkema to get what they can't handle and Dow with the force majeure customers.
7 cents is a big increase. All our competitors have to do is undercut us by a penny. When customers sign contracts with our competitors we don't have a chance to get them back until those contracts run out.