Europe August bisphenol-A contracts roll over on falling demand

12 August 2011 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European August bisphenol-A (BPA) contracts rolled over from July because of falling demand and better supply conditions, sources said on Friday.

The price of BPA did not fall because feedstock costs have increased, sources added.

Increased imports from China and Russia have also contributed to the rollover. Freely negotiated contracts currently stand at €1,700-1,800/tonne FD ($2,429-2,571/tonne) (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Formula contracts are at €1,590-1,740/tonne FD NWE with market players giving mixed feedback regarding price movements. Those with contracts based on July feedstock benzene and phenol contract prices have achieved reductions of around €100-130/tonne, sources said.

However, buyers with contracts based on August feedstock costs have had to agree to increases of around €130/tonne.

Spot prices have been quoted at €1,550-1,700/tonne FD NWE depending on quantities purchased.

Buyers which sought reductions argued that there is plenty or material on the market and there are no supply issues. However, producers declined reductions because feedstock benzene and phenol costs have gone up.

"The phenol market has become tight because of a force majeure at INEOS Phenol and feedstock costs have increased so we could not give reductions," said one producer.

INEOS Phenol declared force majeure on 15 July. The company also plans to close for maintenance for four weeks in September, which may create further shortage in the market. It is still unclear when production will return to normal, which has prompted some buyers to place orders in advance to make sure they will get the quantities they require.

"The market is stable right now because demand is weak during August, but it will definitely change in September when stocks are replenished and the market picks up," said a major European producer.

"People need to plan ahead, otherwise they might find it hard to get product at a short notice," added another producer.

However, one buyer said that the force majeure has not had any impact on the market and it will not change the situation in September. It added that there is plenty of material to supplement the INEOS outage and buyers can also order additional product from Asia and Russia if necessary.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonates and epoxy resins.

For more on BPA visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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