18 June 2010 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Firmer feedstock costs and a heavy spate of plant turnarounds have pushed up European ethylene oxide (EO) contract prices in June, market players said on Friday.
For formula related contracts, sources confirmed the delta movement of plus €8/tonne ($10/tonne), in line with the pass through level.
For freely negotiated busines, larger increases of €25/tonne were deemed acceptable by both buyers and sellers amid the tight market conditions.
For spot requirements, larger hikes of €50-70/tonne were likely, said buyers and sellers, although this was seen to be a hypothetical argument rather than a reality due to scarcity of product.
Taking into account both contract types and movements, European ethylene oxide contract prices in June were assessed between €1,108-1,161/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and €1,148-1,191/tonne FD Med (Mediterranean), according to ICIS.
Numbers either side of the range were heard in a few cases, but they were not seen to reflect the general market.
Prices below €1,100/tonne FD were reported by a couple of buyers, but this was contested by other buyers and sellers. It was considered to be a discounted rather than non-discounted level.
One supplier pegged prices higher, reporting minimum values around €1,160/tonne FD NWE and up to approximately €1,420/tonne. However, this was not confirmed by other market players.
Demand was described as buoyant, particularly into the downstream ethoxylation sector. For agro-chemicals, consumption was also holding up well, following some improvement versus the first half of 2009. Although demand was tapering off slightly, in line with seasonal variation.
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