Europe MEK prices fall back from record highs on easing supply

09 July 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European methyl etheyl ketone (MEK) prices fell back €100/tonne ($127/tonne) at the top end of the range, to €1,550-2,000/tonne after eight weeks of record high prices, buyers and sellers said on Friday.

“The market is relaxing. We don’t see anything above €2,000/tonne anymore,” a distributor said.

MEK values dropped as increased supply entered the distribution market following the resolution of production problems at Eruopean plants during May and June.

“With production problems ended, prices can come off a little, but I don’t think they’ll collapse,” another distributor said,”

Values remained firm at the lower end of the range, at €1,550/tonne as supply was still tight, due to a backlog of orders, and demand was strong becuase of restocking.

Nevertheless, further price falls were expected in the coming weeks, as the market entered the traditional holiday slowdown in August.

MEK had been trading at record highs since 14 May 2010, when they hit €1,350-1,800/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), with values continuing to rise ever since.

The previous high was €1,600/tonne, seen between 22 October and 5 November 2004. ICIS began reporting on MEK on 17 November 1999.

Prices depended on whether material was sourced directly from producers, or from the distribution market, promptness of material and existing relationships with suppliers, sources said.

Producers were selling material at a minimum €1,550/tonne FD NWE, whereas distributors' prices began at €1,600/tonne FD NWE. Sources said that prices at the top end of the range were for non-regular customers.

($1 = €0.79)

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By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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