Ethyl acetate spot prices jump 12% in a month on tight supply

17 September 2010 15:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Ethyl acetate prices have risen by around 12% over the past month on the back of tight supplies, most buyers and sellers said on Friday.

Although the rate of the increase had slowed this week, prices at the end of August were assessed at €820-850/tonne ($1,079-1,118/tonne) free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) and latest spot assessments were at €920-960/tonne FD NWE.

Sources added that on top of the planned shutdown at INEOS’s 245,000 tonne/year unit in Hull, UK, Europe’s largest ethyl acetate plant, there had been a reduction of imported volume.

There were reports that a planned September vessel due to arrive in the ARA (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) region was delayed, and while one importer confirmed a September shipment from India was not now due until October, others suggested there had also been a delay to a vessel carrying US product.

Most agreed that demand was lower than expected for September, but availability was still in such a position that prices firmed up another €10-20/tonne this week.

“I do not have a problem to buy more, but INEOS is not in the market so it creates a warning,” one customer said.

On the other side, one producer said: “We have had to say “No” to some enquiries.”

In addition to the INEOS outage, SEKAB Biofuels and Chemicals was a few days away from a one week outage at its 35,000 tonne/year unit in Domsjo, Sweden. The scheduled maintenance was due to take place between 20-27 September.

Sellers spoke of aiming to pull spot business towards €980/tonne FD NWE and beyond in the second half of September.

Other suppliers of ethyl acetate in Europe include Sasol, Celanese and Rhodia.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Jane Massingham
+44 20 8652 3214

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