18 March 2011 14:34 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European ethylene (C2) spot prices are coming under downwards pressure as Asian and Middle East sellers eye Europe amid weakening prices in ?xml:namespace>
One seller was “a little disturbed” about the reversal in the trend, having found it increasingly difficult to sell volumes either on the Aethylen Rohrleitungs Gesellschaft (ARG) pipeline or at the coast.
“I did not find any interested parties,” the seller said, adding that buying interest is thin because the buyers had no room, had already covered needs at lower prices or were waiting for even weaker prices.
European sources were surprised the Asian market was soft and said this was contrary to expectations earlier this week.
Four crackers were shut down in
However, demand, especially from the polyethylene (PE) sector in
“Nobody wants to talk prices or offer material.
A second trader said: “[There is] no demand from southeast Asia and surplus
A third trader thought the Middle East would look west, “now that
A 9,000–10,000 tonne Taiwanese ethylene cargo, loading 15–20 March, was completely sold in
Spot prices of around $1,500/tonne were being quoted on a CIF (cost insurance freight) NWE (northwest
However, levels of $1,575–1,600/tonne CIF NWE were still representative, one source said, because the exchange rate was providing some support.
Pipeline prices were reported in the low €1,100s/tonne on an FD (free delivered) basis. Until now, pipeline prices had been quoted at, or close to, the prevailing contract price.
March contract prices settled at €1,195/tonne FD NWE, up by €60/tonne from February. Discussions for April contracts were expected to begin next week.
Leading Turkish petrochemical company Petkim had issued a sales tender last week for 4,000-5,000 tonnes of ethylene, closing 11 March, but the producer said it had been “called back”.
The reasons for this were not disclosed but market players speculated that the bids had not been high enough. There were questions over whether the volume had, in fact, been sold directly to a Med consumer instead.
($1 = €0.71)For more on ethylene, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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