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Methyl-A prices in southeast Asia to hit a 24-month low

January 18/2012

(ICIS) -- Methyl acrylate (methyl-A) prices in Southeast Asia look poised to hit a 24-month low on the back of a supply overhang and weak demand, regional producers and traders said on Wednesday. A regional trader said on Wednesday it is offering iso-containers of methyl-A at USD1,750/tonne (EUR1,383/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance & freight) southeast (SE) Asia. This is a USD100-150/tonne drop from methyl-A prices on 11 January, when methyl-A was assessed at USD1,850-1,900/tonne CIF SE Asia.

The last time that methyl-A sank below USD1,750/tonne CIF SE Asia was on 24 February 2010, when methyl-A was assessed at USD1,650-1,750/tonne CIF SE Asia, ICIS data showed.

Methyl-A prices in southeast Asia to hit a 24-month low

It has been extremely difficult to conclude methyl-A deals over the last few months, as buyers have been using a cheaper alternative, vinyl acetate monomer [VAM], in place of methyl-A, said the trader. Other regional producers are also grappling with the issue of buyers turning to lower-priced substitutes.

A regional producer said that it was unable to sell a single parcel of methyl-A into southeast Asia since end-November.
There are practically no methyl-A enquiries from southeast Asia at all, the producer lamented.

VAM was assessed at USD980-1,020/tonne CFR (cost & freight) SE Asia on 13 January, ICIS data showed.

Commenting on the outlook for methyl-A for the rest of the first quarter, regional producers and traders said they are not optimistic. Even after the Lunar New Year holiday this month, I believe that producers will still have difficulties persuading their customers to purchase methyl-A over VAM, said a second regional trader. Methyl-A is used in the production of acrylic fibres and as a resin modifier.

Author:Marina Ivanova
Category:General News
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