Europe March TDI contract prices rise on higher feedstock costs

09 March 2011 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) contract prices have risen in March, driven by escalating feedstock and energy costs, market players said on Wednesday.

The firm producer stance was also further supported by some supply limitations, linked to recent production problems, as well as a spate of plant outages.

TDI contract prices were assessed in March between €1,970-2,030/tonne ($2,736-2,819/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS. This represents increases of €30-40/tonne compared with February.

Some sellers reported hikes of slightly above €100/tonne, but there was insufficient market confirmation to substantiate the larger increases. By contrast, one buyer and seller reported some rollovers in March, but with larger hikes postponed until April.

TDI demand varied according to source and sector. Sellers said that underlying demand is good, particularly in the downstream automotive sector. One seller also noted some pre-buying, in anticipation of higher prices.

For bedding and furniture applications, views have been more mixed. Some customers said that activity is slowing slightly, with the onset of low season, as well as some buyer reluctance to accept further price increases. However, one seller said that activity from the main downstream foam suppliers continues to hold up well.

TDI supply was deemed sufficient, albeit with some limitations for a few suppliers, linked to recent production problems, as well as current and forthcoming plant outages.

Borsodchem’s 90,000 tonne/year TDI facility in Kazincbarcika, Hungary, was running at reduced rates this week, said a company source. This is following a spate of technical problems over the last few weeks. The unit also underwent some planned maintenance in February.

Perstorp’s 126,000 tonne/year TDI plant at Pont-de-Claix, in France, was taken offline on 6 March for planned maintenance, and is expected to last for approximately one week, said a company source.

In addition, forthcoming maintenance is due to start at BASF’s 80,000 tonne/year TDI facility at Schwarzheide, Germany, in May, a company spokesperson said, although precise dates and duration were not disclosed.

($1 = €0.72)

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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