European MA spot prices fall from record high as supply improves

03 June 2011 16:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European maleic anhydride (MA) spot prices are no longer at record highs, falling €60/tonne ($87/tonne) this week because of increasing supply, players said on Friday.

Liquid and flake spot prices are now trading at €1,740-1,940/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Liquid spot prices had been at record highs since 4 March 2011, and solid spot prices since 1 April 2011.

The historic highs were the result of a force majeure at German-based MA producer Sasol-Huntsman’s 105,000 tonne/year MA plant in Moers, Germany, from 4 March to 30 April 2011, which had restricted European supply.

The force majeure was the result of technical problems associated with the start-up of the facility’s new 45,000 tonne/year reactor.

Following the end of the force majeure, the extra capacity was brought online, giving a new nameplate capacity of 105,000 tonnes/year, a company source previously confirmed.

Supply is improving as order backlogs are worked through, resulting in the fall in prices, but availability remains low.

High prices of feedstock n-butane, which rose by 15-20% in the second quarter from the first quarter, have limited price decreases.

($1 = €0.69)

For more on MA visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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