Sasol-Huntsman declares force majeure on MA at Moers, Germany

15 February 2012 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European maleic anhydride (MA) producer Sasol-Huntsman has declared force majeure at its 105,000 tonne/year plant in Moers, Germany, a company source said on Wednesday.

Sasol-Huntsman was forced to declare force majeure last week, although an exact date for the outage could not be confirmed.

The force majeure has been caused by a raw material supply disruption resulting from severe weather conditions in Germany, the source said. It is not known how long the force majeure will last.

Sasol-Huntsman is the largest supplier of MA in Europe, and European market sources expect spot prices to spike as a result of the FM declaration. Some producers said that they were now offering material as high as €1,800/tonne ($2,368/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), although this was not confirmed by the majority of the market.

Last week, spot material was trading at €1,350-1,500/tonne FD NWE.

If the €1,800/tonne FD NWE price becomes more widely confirmed, this would be the largest spot price change week-on-week, with spot prices having risen €300-450/tonne.

This would also be the highest percentage change in spot prices week-on-week, at a rise of 20-33%, since ICIS price records for MA began on 17 November 1999.

The current record high week-on-week spot price change is €200/tonne, which was seen at the top-end of the price range on 5 November 2004.

The current record high week-on-week percentage change in price was 10-14%, seen on 22 September 2000.

The record high spot price for MA in Europe is €1,800-2,000/tonne FD NWE, seen between 8 Apirl-27 May 2011, which was the result of a previous Sasol-Huntsman force majeure.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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