Oleic acid could offer resilience in Europe market - Oleon

20 October 2009 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--Oleic fatty acids could offer more resilience to declining European demand than other grades, such as stearic acid, according to sources at an industry conference on Tuesday.

Eddy Feijen, marketing and sales director with Belgium-based producer Oleon, predicted that the decline in European consumption seen in the last three years would continue before stabilising.

Feijen was speaking at the ICIS World Oleochemicals conference in Berlin, Germany.

However, Feijen noted that stearic acids had been under much stronger downward pressure, in terms of price and demand, and that he expected oleic acid to better withstand the declining market conditions.

Feijen predicted that although fatty acids would continue to be produced in Europe, the industries that process the chemicals into the myriad of end-user products would increasingly be outsourced to other global regions, such as Asia. 

Yet he noted that oleic acid has several quality advantages that make it more desirable for many technological applications, which could mean its use in Europe outlasts that of other grades.

“Oleic could be the last to leave Europe,” he said.

Other market sources at the conference said they agreed, although they noted that Feijen was largely making a speculative prediction.

The sources also pointed out that oleic acids have offered superior profit margins recently, further supporting the case for their extended presence in Europe.

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By: Ross Yeo
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