25 March 2011 13:53 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Borsodchem plans to increase its toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) prices by €100/tonne ($141/tonne) in Europe and by $200/tonne for exports, with effect from 1 April, the company said on Friday.
“The price adjustments are needed to respond to the significant rise in raw materials and energy costs. Further upwards adjustments can be expected given the upstream costs evolution,” it added.
Most other TDI sellers were also looking for increases of €50-100/tonne for April, citing the ongoing need to restore profitability in view of the recent upstream toluene and energy hikes. Firmer sentiment would also be supported by good demand and tightening supply, they said.
A spate of planned and unplanned plant outages in Europe and increasing export opportunities to the Middle East and Africa (MEAF) has tightened supply. The shortfall in Asian volumes has come as a direct result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
One supplier said, however, that it expected more stable pricing for northwest Europe in April, as it was mindful of the additional TDI capacity coming onstream in Europe in the next few months and wanted to protect its market share.
Customers remained resistant to any significant price increases for TDI in April, stating that they were not justified on a supply/demand perspective. They maintained that supply was generally good, despite a few production problems and plant turnarounds, adding that demand was reasonable, but not spectacular.
They said that some minor upward price move for TDI was likely in April, driven purely by recent raw material cost pressure, but they considered hikes of €100/tonne over-ambitious and unjustified.
One customer stressed the ongoing difficulty in passing on increases downstream, particularly as it was subject to the continued uptrend in costs from both TDI and polyols feedstocks.
Polyol sellers had proposed initial hikes of €50-150/tonne, depending on grade, due to feedstock pressure and short supply.
European TDI contract prices in March were assessed between €1,970-2,030/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). This represented a rise of €30-40/tonne from February.
In the MEAF prices were pegged at $2,800-2,950/tonne cost and freight (CFR) for April shipments, depending on source, region and volume size.
European flexible slabstock conventional polyol prices in March were agreed between €1,780-1,880/tonne FD NWE, up €30-80/tonne from February.
($1 = €0.71)
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