23 November 2011 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European November acrylic acid and acrylate esters freely negotiated contract prices have fallen by €100–150/tonne ($135–203/tonne), sources said on Wednesday.
This fall has significantly exceeded the €55/tonne drop in the feedstock propylene price for November, a result of much lower demand ahead of the year-end and the impact of the global macroeconomic backdrop on market sentiment.
In addition to the effect of weak demand, aggressive offers in the spot market abound and these are pulling down numbers, particularly where butyl acrylate (butyl-A) – the most-traded molecule – and ethyl acrylate (ethyl-A) are concerned.
November contracts were assessed at €1,850–1,950/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for methyl acrylate (methyl-A); €1,875–1,950/tonne for ethyl-A; €1,875–2,000/tonne for butyl-A; and €2,050–2,225/tonne for 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA).
Acrylic acid (AA) November contracts were assessed at €1,870–1,910/tonne FD NWE.
Higher and lower prices were also recorded, but these were not considered to be representative of the market as a whole.
With widespread bearishness across end-user markets, buyers remain slow to act or are even staying out of the market altogether, in anticipation of the year-end and because of economic concerns.
However, one or two suppliers said the AA market was generally holding out a little better than acrylates – particularly the larger butyl-A and ethyl-A markets.
Further decreases are expected in December, ahead of the year-end.
Looking to January, suppliers stressed that the supply/demand balance could change very quickly as the need to restock could drive activity.
($1 = €0.74)
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