Europe May BPA up €370-380/tonne, supply and demand driven

07 May 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--May contracts in the European bis-phenol A (BPA) market were assessed up €370-380/tonne ($468-481/tonne) from the previous month, largely on the back of restricted cargo availability and healthy buyer interest, sources said on Friday.

May prices were assessed at €1,700-1,800/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

The huge gain on prices had been expected by those in the market, as supply continued to tighten while demand stayed healthy.

The current situation was described by one producer as “extraordinary” and by another as “simply horrible.”

Extreme tightness was widely seen as the key factor behind the rise in BPA prices this month. Severe restriction on feedstock phenol availability meant that it was increasingly difficult for BPA players to produce material.

“Players are not able to keep up with agreed volumes,” said one trader, who felt that many were only able to produce 40% of their usual contractual volumes.

Demand from the downstream polycarbonate sector was said to be strong; although with little phenol available, customers were said to be struggling.

“Lots of customers are really struggling. Price is not the issue. People need molecules and people prefer to pay higher prices rather than reduce their capacity,” one source said.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: Helena Strathearn

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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