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US acrylic acid and acrylate esters October contract prices are weakening

October 14/2011

(ICIS) -- US acrylic acid and acrylate esters October contract prices are weakening on soft demand and plentiful supply, sources said on Thursday. Declines were heard in the range of 3-5 cents/lb ($66-110/tonne, ?48-79/tonne) on the high end of most products, but one buyer said it had received offers of 10-15 cents/lb lower for two of the esters than it had in September.


September glacial acrylic acid (GAA) contracts are in the range of $1.41-1.46/lb, as assessed by ICIS.


Producers did not confirm talk of the large decreases, but one said existing margins were unsustainable, given sharply weaker propylene pricing for October. US propylene contract prices for October settled down by 14 cents/lb from September, primarily because of weakening demand.


The settlement brought the chemical-grade propylene (CGP) contract down to 62.50 cents/lb, and the polymer-grade propylene (PGP) contract down to 64 cents/lb.


A recent build-up of refinery-grade propylene (RGP) inventories also was cited as a factor in the lower price settlements. And US propylene inventories rose by 5% in the last week of September despite slightly lower refinery operating rates, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).


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