Europe March caprolactam up by €40/tonne on tight supply

24 March 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The European March caprolactam contract price has increased by €40/tonne ($54/tonne) largely on the back of tight supply, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.

“We closed something quick for March and got an increase of €20/tonne, but we are now getting twice the benzene,” a major caprolactam producer said.

The upstream March benzene contract price settled at €741/tonne FOB (free on board) NWE (northwest Europe), up €18/tonne on February.

The caprolactam contract typically mirrors price developments in the benzene market, but owing to a lack of availability and the competitive stance of Asian buyers, European producers have sought higher prices in March.

The March caprolactam pre-discounted contract price settled at €2,030-2,086/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

One caprolactam producer said that it was pushing for a March increase of up to €90/tonne, while others reported increases ranging between €40-70/tonne.

A major caprolactam buyer in Europe said that on average it paid €50/tonne more for its March volumes adding that availability was “not so easy”.

Asia is the first reason because more polymer companies need material, Domo has production problems and the Spanish have also had technical issues,” the buyer said.

A second large European buyer said that on average its caprolactam contract price increased by €35/tonne in March. “We settled at an increase more than €20/tonne  - it was more like plus €35/tonne.” 

He added: “The market is tough, it’s highly tight. For March we have been able to minimise the increase but for spot it’s terrible - our offer for spot in Europe is the same as Asia.”

Spot caprolactam in Asia continued to firm this week, with prices in China at $2,490-2,500/tonne CFR (cost and freight).

($1 = €0.74)

For more on caprolactam visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the ICIS plants and projects database

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly