INEOS lifts force majeure on etac plant in Hull, UK

25 November 2011 13:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Swiss-headquartered petrochemicals major INEOS has lifted its force majeure on ethyl acetate (etac) supply, a source at the company said on Friday.

The announcement has come five months after INEOS declared force majeure on its etac plant in Hull, in the UK.

“Contract customers are now at 100% allocation and we will slowly think of [resuming supply to] the spot market,” the source said.

The company restarted its etac plant in Hull over the weekend of 5-6 November. It delayed lifting the force majeure immediately citing logistical reasons.

INEOS, the biggest producer of etac in northwest Europe, has been out of the spot market since mid-June when it declared force majeure at the 245,000 tonne/year etac facility and put contract customers on allocation.

Unlike most other solvents, spot prices for etac had occasionally increased during the period of the supply shortage from INEOS.

Despite the occasional hikes, fuelled by INEOS' absence and much speculation in the market, prices have been on a downward trajectory since September, mainly because of ongoing slow demand from the downstream industrial coatings sector.

Buyers from the sector have been  predominantly concerned about the impact of macroeconomic worries on the construction industry.

Etac prices were assessed at €960-1,000/tonne ($1,280-1,333/tonne) (FD) free delivered (NWE) northwest Europe for the week ending on 18 November.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Cuckoo James
+44 (0) 208 652 3214

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