14 March 2008 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--March contracts in the European maleic anhydride (MA) market were settled at a rollover as prices remained aligned with quarterly agreements, buyers and sellers agreed on Friday.?xml:namespace>
Prices were assessed stable at €1,615-1,705/tonne ($2,523-2,664/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for liquid material and €1,575-1,645/tonne FD NWE for flaked product, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
The outlook for the second quarter remained firm, however, as energy complex values continued to hover at record high levels.
The appreciation in butane values was of major significance but producers were also concerned about energy and transportation costs which have spiralled with crude prices remaining well above $100/bbl.
MA producers said that the last increase did not fully restore margins and all these factors would be considered when it came to contract negotiations for the second quarter.
Buyers, for their part, said it was too early to think seriously about second-quarter pricing.
The coming NPRA (National Petrochemical Refiner’s Association) meeting at the end of the month was expected to be the starting point for negotiations, by which time raw material evolution would be more clear.
($1 = €0.64)
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