Europe November EO contracts rise on higher feedstock costs

19 November 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethylene oxide (EO) contract prices mainly moved up by €23/tonne ($32/tonne) in November, as higher feedstock costs weighed against fairly balanced market conditions, market players said on Friday.

For formula contract business, prices increased by around €23/tonne, in line with 82% of the ethylene feedstock movement.

For freely negotiated contracts, some players reported a similar trend to the formula contracts.

However, larger rises of €10-15/tonne above the general formula increase were also heard in a few cases in southern Europe.

This was linked to the recent French strike action and reduced supply in the region. However, the larger rises above the general formula increase were not seen to reflect the main direction of the market.

The range changed to €1,115-1,160/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and €1,155-1,190/tonne FD MED (Mediterranean).

Numbers of €1,100/tonne FD NWE and below were also heard in one or two cases, but these were not widely confirmed.

Supply was described as sufficient, with improved availability from a short supply position in southern Europe.

Availability was boosted by the lifting of INEOS Oxide’s force majeure on supplies of EO and monoethylene glycol, along with other derivatives, at its Lavera facility in France this week.

EO demand was fairly robust in November, with little or no slowdown, despite the approach of the end of the year.

Looking to December, there was some expectation that consumption would fall slightly, although this was likely to be moderated by low stock levels throughout the value chain, caused by recent supply constraints and cautious economic sentiment.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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