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Celanese Hikes Prices of Vinyl Acetate-based Emulsions, MBK

Chemical and advanced materials maker, Celanese Corporation CE declared that it will raise the price of vinyl acetate-based emulsions (VAE) sold in Asia. Price for VAE emulsions will increase by ¥300 per metric ton (MT) in China and $35/MT for the rest of Asia. The price rise is slated to be effective Apr 15, 2016, or as contracts permit.

Celanese has raised the prices in the wake of continued pressures on raw materials, notably ethylene and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

The company also announced an increase in list and off-list selling prices for Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) in North and South America by 3 cents per pound effective Apr 15, 2016 or as contracts permit.

We note that Celanese is still witnessing weak acetyl demand in China given the sluggish economic conditions. Going forward, Acetyl Intermediates’ margins are expected to remain under pressure in Asia due to soft demand. However, the company continues to focus on its productivity initiatives to support growth. Celanese expects adjusted earnings per share to increase 5–10% in 2016, which will keep it on track to meet its goals for 2018.

Celanese’s fourth-quarter 2015 adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) of $1.25 per share fell 2.3% from $1.28 reported a year ago. Earnings, however, exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.23. On the other hand, sales in the fourth quarter declined roughly 14.4% year over year to $1,334 million. The figure also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,391 million.

Celanese currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked companies in the diversified chemical space include Arkema S.A. ARKAY, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Co. Ltd. SHI and The Dow Chemical Company DOW. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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