May Europe acrylic acid, acrylates prices stabilise as tightness eases

18 May 2011 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acrylic acid and acrylate esters freely negotiated contract prices for May largely rolled over this month, although some grades moved up by €20/tonne ($29/tonne) from April on continued good demand as well as higher raw material costs, sources said on Wednesday.

May contracts were assessed at €2,200–2,280/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for methyl acrylate (methyl-A); €2,260–2,380/tonne FD NWE for ethyl acrylate (ethyl-A); €2,240–2,400/tonne for butyl acrylate (butyl-A), and €2,470–2,600/tonne for 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA).

May acrylic acid (AA) contracts were assessed at €2,195–2,320/tonne FD NWE, representing an increase of €20/tonne at the low end of the range.

Despite a €35/tonne increase for feedstock propylene in May, sources agreed that price movements for the monomer as well as the esters continue to be driven by availability issues.

Following months of continued price hikes caused by supply restrictions and good demand, the upwards momentum on pricing has started to ease.

“Prices have started to stabilise,” said one major domestic buyer, which has settled the majority of its contracts at a rollover this month. “However, we have not seen them start to really come down yet. That will take some time.”

With prices in Asia – particularly the key Chinese market – continuing to lose ground in the face of weaker demand, buyers said that imports are starting to make their way into the NWE region.

However, the impact of these volumes on European pricing will not be felt until August, sources said.

The buyer added: “This is when demand traditionally comes down, so combined with the impact of Asian imports we should see prices start to drop.”

($1 = €0.70)

For more on acrylic acid and acrylate esters visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Truong Mellor
+44 208 652 3214

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