01 October 2008 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Paraffin wax (p-wax) contract prices for 52-54°C and 56-58°C move down by €70-110/tonne ($99-155/tonne) in October on the back of softer crude values and lower demand from the candle industry, said market players on Wednesday.
The range for 52-54°C product was assessed at €1,150-1,250/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), down by €70-110/tonne from September. 56-58°C was pegged €70-80/tonne lower at €1,250-1,300/tonne FD NWE in October, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
Numbers either side of the range were also heard, but they were not considered as representative of average market levels.
Rollovers for the above grades were also reported in a few case, but they were not seen to reflect the general sentiment in the market.
For 60-62°C, pricing information was limited and the range was left unchanged from September, with values between €1,330-1,420/tonne FD NWE. One reseller said that prices were stable in October for the higher melt point, noting that availability for this grade remained tight in contrast with the other grades. However, this was yet to be confirmed by other market players.
Several candle manufacturers said they were opting for more competitive alternatives such as stearic acid. Vegetable stearic acid prices were heard at €825-860/tonne FD NWE for the fourth quarter, which was €325/tonne more attractive than the low end of the range for tealight grade p-wax.
P-wax supply was described as sufficient to slightly long, although the latter was not confirmed by producers.
Producers include Shell, Sasol Wax and Hansen and Rosenthal. P-wax is used in the production of candles, in the food, packaging and petroleum jelly industries.
($1 = €0.71)
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