Europe MA Q1 contracts rise €50/tonne on feedstock cost rises

17 February 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European maleic anhydride (MA) first quarter contracts have settled at an average increase of €50/tonne ($66/tonne) as a result of rising feedstock n-butane costs, buyers and sellers confirmed on Friday.

First quarter MA contracts settled at €2,075–2,155/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Nevertheless, contracts settled within a wide-range, depending upon starting point and when negotiations concluded.

“Quarterly contracts entirely depended on when they settled,” an MA trader said.

Contracts settled early in the month, before the full extent of feedstock cost rises was known, while demand was low as a result of macroeconomic weakness, and before the market tightened, were settled at a reduction of as much as €70/tonne.

“Conditions changed through the month [of January],” an MA producer said.

Contracts settled towards the end of January and in early February settled at increases of as much as €100/tonne, because of the feedstock price rises, strengthening demand and tightening supply caused by production problems in the market.

“Quarterly contracts we were able to settle at a small reduction, but this was before the production problems, so [it] was very lucky,” an MA buyer said.

The bulk of quarterly contracts have been settled at an average increase of €50/tonne, and were concluded at the end of January.

Sasol-Huntsman declared force majeure at its 105,000 tonne/year MA plant in Moers, Germany, on 8 February, a company source 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, a joint venture between South Africa’s coal-to-oil and chemical producer Sasol and US-based chemical producer Huntsman, is the largest supplier of MA in Europe and availability has significantly tightened because of the declaration.


For more on maleic anhydride visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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