13 March 2000 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Naphtha was sold at $315/tonne cif NWE for 12 000 tonne for 17-19 March arrival. Prices continue to be supported by crude, which reached a nine-year high on 7 March but later softened on signs that Opec is closer to increasing output.
Ethylene spot activity is low in Europe with material still scarce. Ideas have risen to $720-750/tonne cif NWE reflecting last done business on the ARG pipeline. Players are indicating increases of E100-140/tonne for Q2 contracts following further gains in naphtha, but PE producers continue to struggle to push through increases. The Ras Lanuf cracker was said back onstream, the weekend of 4-5 March.
Propylene is on offer at around DM1200/tonne cif NWE, but no buying interest is reported at this level. Latest business was done at DM1100-1200/tonne FD into Germany ex-Dunkerque for a small parcel of polymer grade.
Butadiene suppliers in Europe have raised their ideas for Q2 contracts to E480-490/tonne FD on the back of further gains in crude and naphtha while buyers appear unwilling to pay above E400/ tonne FD. In the US, a major buyer who rejected the 24 cent/lb contract price proposed for March, has been offered 23 cent/lb. The 23 cent/lb price for March is now expected to stick.
Benzene spot prices dropped to $420-425/tonne cif ARA following a spike to $430-435/tonne cif. A producer sale to trade was fixed at $423/tonne and $420/tonne cif ARA for 2000 tonne parcels March delivery with other business reported at $418/tonne and $420/tonne cif. Supply is balanced to tight. One of Veba's extraction units is down and Aral's cracker was down at the weekend for ten days' maintenance.
Toluene spot prices continue to firm with latest business done at $350/tonne fob Rotterdam, up from earlier deals in the $340-345/tonne fob range.
Xylene prices firmed to $370-372/tonne fob ARA for early March delivery. A producer fixed 1000 tonne at $372/tonne ARA, prompt loading. Offers are now at $375-380/tonne fob Rotterdam and bids in the low $370s/tonne. US prices are firm at $1.20/gal.
Tight styrene supply continues to push prices up. An intertrade deal was confirmed at $1050/tonne cif ARA for 1000 tonne April delivery and an unconfirmed deal was talked at $1070/tonne cif. Producer truck sales were reported in the DM1900-1950/tonne FCA range. Players continue to cite problems at a new European unit.
Paraxylene prices moved up to $475-480/tonne fob Rotterdam in active inter-trade. Offers were at $485/tonne fob ARA for mid-March delivery but no deals were done. European producers are indicating a Q2 contract price target of E560/tonne FD NWE, up E100/tonne on Q1.
Orthoxylene prices are largely unchanged. Some inter-trade deals were done at $400-405/tonne fob Rotterdam, but latest offers at $405-410/tonne fob received little buying interest. Seasonal plasticiser demand in April is expected to boost OX spot demand at the end of March.
Methanol buyers claim offers at the low end of the DM230-240/tonne fob Rotterdam range, confirmed by last week's methanol auction result. Sellers put prices at DM250-255/tonne fob Rotterdam and are asking a E10/tonne increase for Q2 to compensate for the lower value of the euro against the US dollar. Supplies from Trinidad are restricted due to TTMC's force majeure and Saturn's delayed startup.
MTBE prices are failing to reflect the rapid increases in oil and gasoline prices. Although prices have risen in absolute terms to $370-380/tonne fob Rotterdam, the factor to gasoline has fallen back to below 1.13x premium unleaded gasoline.
Ammonia prices have risen to $130-133/tonne fob Yuzhnyy on the back of healthy demand and limited supply in the Black Sea with one Ukrainian plant still experiencing technical problems. Turkey is tendering for 20 000 tonne for end March and Jordan for 40 000 tonne for April/May.
|European contract||European spot||Change on||US contract|
|q/tonne||$/tonne||$/tonne||last week||price $/tonne|
|Ethylene||580 (Q1)||597||720-750 (nom)||Z40||584-595 (Jan)|
|Propylene@||445 (Q1)||458||540-560 (cif)||Z5||452 (Feb)|
|Butadiene||370 (Q1)||355||380-400 (fob)||Vnc||463 (Feb)|
|Benzene||321 (Q1)||323||420-425 (fob)||Z8||389 (Feb)|
|Toluene||305 (Q1) (fob)||314||340-350 (fob)||Z17||na|
|Xylene||na||na||370-372 (fob)||Z24||309 (Feb)|
|Styrenea||700-725 (Q1)||721-747||1060-1070 (fob)||Z102||793-838 (Jan)|
|Paraxylene||460 (Q1)||463||475-480 (fob)||Z13||463 (Q1)|
|Orthoxylene||410 (Q1)||422||400-410 (fob)||Vnc||430 (Feb)|
|Methanol||128 (Q1) (fob)||132||113-122 (T2) (fob)||Z2||114 (Jan)|
|105-109 (T1) (cif)||Vnc|
Prices contained in this report are obtained by ECN through
consultation with producers, consumers and merchants across Europe.
They are intended as a guide to price levels of recent business in
Europe and reflect medium to large tonnage sales.
Spot prices are quoted fob (free-on-board) NW European port,
cif (cost, insurance and freight),
FCA (free carrier),
CFR (cost and freight).
T1 = imported material subject to EC common external tariffs,
T2 = EC material,
bld = blending grade,
com = commercial grade,
nit = nitration grade.
European contract prices are quoted on a free delivered basis (FD) unless otherwise stated; initial but unfixed negotiating range is indicated (nom), na = not applicable, m = monthly contracts.
Spot prices in this issue are based on information available on 8 March 2000.
Dollar prices are based on rates of exchange on 7 March 2000
$1=q1.044; $1=DM2.043; $1=£0.632; q1=DM1.956; q1=£0.606.
The dollar equivalent range is based on exchange rates prevalent at the time of contract closure if available, or an average rate for the quarter. * TDI grade
@ Indicates polymer grade
a Lower figure for barge price, higher
figure free delivery inland
+ Indicates duty paid
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