EPCA Special Edition: Critical Raw Materials and Chemical Markets


 “We are a global company, but enjoy doing business with people who share our values. Our European partners have always done so and acted in good faith.  They operate with ethics and know long terms partnerships work.  Much of our success comes from these shared values and partnerships.” — Nick Roach, CEO The Chemical Company


US Dollar Strengthens against currencies

The  U.S. Dollar has had 10 weeks of gains versus several currencies including the Euro.  Gains seem to be driven by expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next year.  This is drawing a flood of investment from around the world in search of stronger returns.



WTI vs Brent gap narrows considerably

*Crude price estimates WTI $60/ bbl by 2016*


Product News

The following products are in stock and available now!

Adipic Acid:25 Kg., 500 Kg. and 1,000 Kg. Bags

Ammonium Bromide:25 Kg. Bags

Bio- Succinic Acid:2,000 lb. supersacks and 25 Kg. Bags

Dicyandiamide:25 Kg. Bags and 2,000 lb. supersacks

Epoxidized Soy Bean Oil:TCC offers bulk trucks, drums and totes to North America.

GPO DiOctyl Terephthalate (DOTP):TCC offers bulk trucks of GPO DOTP to North America.

Malic Acid:25 Kg. Bags

Maleic Anhydride:25 Kg. bags of USA produced briquettes

NatureFlexx 509:Phthalate Free General Purpose Plasticizer. Available in Bulk, Totes (2200 lbs.) and Drums. (Totes in stock and immediately avail.)

Plasticizers: Branched plasticizers DINP, DOTP, DOP, DOA, TOTM, and linear DUP, 911P, L9P, 810 trimelliate.

Tetrabromo Phthalic Anhydride (TBPA): 1,000 Kg bags in stock and available now!

Vestinol 9 DINP: Bulk trucks and split loads (w/ eso or dop) of DINP to North America.

Urea: Technical Prilled, Feed Grade and DEF grade in bulk rail and pneumatic, 2,000 lb. sacks and 25 Kg. bags.




Raw Material Trends Legend

Benzene: U.S. benzene contracts for October settled down to US$4.22/ gallon from US$4.69/ gallon in September.  June 2014 had the highest U.S. contract price of $5.28/ gallon but pricing has steadily declined.  

n-Butane:  U.S. Normal Butane prices are trading in the low US$1.20’s per gallon.  \

Ethylene:   U.S. Contract Price for July settled up $.0175 to $.495/ lb.  Spot ethylene is trading in the low $.70’s/ lb.   June settled at US$.4775/ lb.  up $.0075/ lb. from May. Projections for Q3 are for ethylene to remain tight and pricing to increase.  +

Natural Gas: U.S. Natural gas pricing trended lower from Mid June and through July, stabilizing through August, September and into October. October NYMEX gas settled at $3.984/ mmbtu on September 26th and November settled October 2nd at $3.932/ mmbtu.   The Sept. 26th settle was another increase from the week before.  Current NYMEX pricing is trading near US$4.023/ mmbtu.   \+


Oil: WTI crude continues its slow downward trend finally dipping below $90/ bbl.  Beginning in late June WTI has steadily moved lower.  Current pricing is trending near US$89-$90/ bbl.  Brent crude is also rending lower and norrowing the gap with WTI.  Most recent Brent pricing near US$92/ bbl. 



Orthoxylene: September contract pricing shed $.04/ lb. to US$.56/ lb. returning to where pricing was pre- run up.  October is expected to roll based on mixed xylene pricing.  EU OX sheds €15 per ton settling at €960 per ton for October.  \

Propylene: U.S. October contract pricing was initially nominated for a $.05/lb. increase but was amended to a $.075/ lb. increase this week.  If accepted Chemical grade will move up to $.785/ lb. and Polymer grade at $.80/ lb. +




Adipic Acid

Adipic Acid pricing has decreased in line with Benzene (down $.37/ gallon for September and another $.47/ gallon for October).  Supply is balanced in the Americas and long in the EU with another producer taking down a line in September.  China prices are in line with other regions.  TCC has Adipic Acid in stock and immediately available in 1,000 Kg. Sacks, 500 Kg. Sacks and 25 Kg. bags.  


July and August were $520/ ton with September settling up $50/ ton to $570/ ton.   Most speculate we will see another $70/ ton increase for October.   Prices have moved higher globally with gas curtailments in Trinidad and continued problems with ship availability.  Yara and CF in merger talks.  +

Antimony Trioxide

Demand for antimony trioxide remains weak.  Current offers are in the low to mid $4.00/ lb. range for full truckloads.  Buyers continue to keep inventories to a minimum and use alternate chemistries where possible.  Small bags and sacks are immediately available.  \

Citric Acid

Pricing remains steady with overall good demand.  The Chemical Company has both 25 Kg. bags and 1,000 Kg. bags in stock and immediately available.  \


Prices have stabilized and should remain in a narrow range for the remainder of 2014.  The Chemical Company has both 25 Kg. bags and 1,000 Kg. sacks in stock and immediately available.     \

Epoxidized Soybean Oil

Soybean oil prices have stabilized after a long period of trending lower (CBOT @ $912.25).  Check thechemco.com for real time soybean oil pricing on our commodities ticker.  Epoxidized Soybean Oil Supply pricing has also stabilized after competitive activity and new players pushing prices lower.  There is little need for  South American supply with good domestic production and better quality.  TCC offers bulk, split trucks, drums and totes of epoxidized soy bean oil.   \




Fumaric Acid

Fumaric Acid Pricing has stabilized after a long and slow period of pushing higher due to supply restrictions from domestic producers.   Long lead times are still noted.   Due to much lower n-butane values (high $1.20’s per gallon) North American producers are enjoying the low cost production position.   Order early for ratable supply.   \

Glycol (Mono, Di and Tri)


U.S. Contract Prices for October rolled over yet a decrease is expected for those tied to Asia spot pricing.  Ethylene spot pricing has reached record highs in the low to high $.70’s depending on location.  Some producers have slowed production due to the high spot ethylene prices.  Lyondell on allocation.  \


Prices roll for October on tight supplies.  Spot prices are in the mid $.60’s per lb. fob Gulf.  \


Producers announce a US$.10/ lb. increase for October on tight supply.  Equistar on sales allocation due to EO outage.  Traders looking at possible Asia to North America arbitrage on TEG.  +

Isophthalic Acid

Supply of PIA has become rate able and pricing is stable.  Supply restrictions from Q1 and Q2 have waned.  TCC has inventory of both supersacks and small bags.   \

Maleic Anhydride

Supply is improving in North America with production issues waning and producers coming back on line.  Molten Prices have stabilized and with low natural gas and n-butane values producers are enjoying good margins.  Solid Maleic prices are also stable with domestic availability offered through TCC.  TCC offers bulk Molten Maleic Anhydride and 25 Kg. bags of Maleic Anhydride pastilles. \


Melamine pricing is under pressure and a Q4 increase has been announced.  TCC has Melamine in stock and available.  \

Malic Acid

Malic Acid Pricing has increased on short supply and significant lead times for both domestic and imported material.  Low butane costs have made North American producers the most competitive in the world. TCC has Malic Acid in stock and available. \


The Methanex Non-Discounted Reference Price for October was surprisingly a roll at US$1.45/ gallon.  SCC increased $.05/ gallon to match MNDRP at $1.45/ gallon.  Spot pricing is currently approx. US$1.30/ gal.  and stable.  \


  • Gas Supply issues (-20%) continue in Trinidad and Tobago.  Major curtailments expected for October.
  • OCI has unexpected outage last week when power supply was interrupted.  OCI will have an extended turnaround (7 weeks) in late October.  As part of the trunaround OCI plans a de-bottlenecking which will increase capacity 185K ton.
  • Methanol is seeing increased demand world –wide for Olefins and fuel blending
  • Methanex re-starts 840k ton Chile Methanol Unit/ Geismar slated for completion Q1 2015
  • Heavy demand for Winter season applications beginning
  • Availability of tank trucks and rail complications continue

Nitric Acid

Nitric Acid pricing is under pressure from Ammonia and expected to increase.  +

Phenolic Resins

Phenol pricing has once again shifted lower for October due to lower benzene values.  Formaldehyde pricing will remain flat with methanol contract pricing only under moderate pressure.  \

Phthalic Anhydride

Phthalic Anhydride declining with steady demand.  Reichold a major PA user has declared Chapter 11.  TCC has 500 kg, 1,000 Kg and 25 Kg. bags in stock and immediately available.   –

Plasticizers and Plasticizer Alcohols

Plasticizer demand in North America is steady to good.  Pricing on general purpose plasticizer’s is extremely competitive with continued Asian import pressure and confusion over Prop 65 and other regulations.  Most linear plasticizers are in short supply with 810TM being the least available at the moment.  \

Plasticizer alcohol demand has improved in North America yet prices remain extremely competitive.  Asia 2-EH is now prevelant in the NA market.  Oxo alcohols remain long and ultra competitive in China where new capacities have flooded the market.  Linear alcohols are tight especially 8 10 and 9 alcohol.  \

TCC has a wide variety of general purpose and specialty plasticizers.  We offer phthalate, terephthalate, non- phthalate and phthalate free options.

Styrene monomer

Styrene pricing decreased October in line with lower benzene values (down $.37/ gallon for September and another $.47/ gallon for October).  North America demand remains slow.  TCC has bulk styrene available for immediate shipment.  


Current granular barge pricing of Urea is US$318 – $325/ ton currently and weaker in the coming weeks.  Prills are reported at $330- $335/ ton fob Gulf.   Prices moved down $15-$20/ ton into October and forward pricing appears lower despite stronger ammonia pricing.  Prilled and Feed grade Urea in both sacks and 25 Kg. bags are in stock and immediately available.  


For more information on these or any of the products and services provided by TCC please contact Robb Roach directly at Robb@thechemco.com or go to our web site at thechemco.com



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