Akron, Ohio – South Korean EPDM maker Kumho Polychem Co. recently announced a price increase of 7 cents per pound effective 1 Sept in the US market.
High ethylene prices were the reason, according to Mike Sibley, managing partner-EPDM, for Intertex World Resources Inc., exclusive North American distributor of Kumho Polychem EPDM.
Ethylene represents 65-70% of the cost of EPDM, Sibley said. "When it goes up as it has in the last year or so, it's a huge hit," he said.
Ethylene prices in Asia topped out at $400 per tonne, compared with $350 per tonne in the US, according to Sibley, noting: "That's a discrepancy of over 60 cents a pound."
The discrepancy puts Kumho Polychem at a major disadvantage, according to Sibley.
Nevertheless, the company is committed to the US market, he said: "They're still going to lose money, but they're here for the long run."