27 February 2012 14:23 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--France’s Arkema restarted dioctyl phthalate (DOP) production at Chauny in northern France at the end of last week, after technical problems led to a shutdown earlier in the month, a company source said on Monday.
A force majeure, declared after a failed restart attempt, remains in place, the source added.
“We need to secure production before lifting force majeure,” the source said. “Deliveries should restart as soon as possible."
With a nameplate capacity of 70,000 tonnes/year at Chauny, Arkema is the largest DOP producer in the European market, so the outage has tightened supplies and allowed producers to implement greater increases than those needed to offset February raw material price hikes.
In the week ending on 24 February, DOP spot prices were at €1,450–1,500/tonne ($1,959–2,027/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up by €160–170/tonne from January.
Little trade is currently being reported because of poor availability, and several producers are declining inquiries from non-regular spot buyers because of low inventory levels.
There is talk of further increases in March on the back of market tightness and expected feedstock price increases. Prices could go up by €80–100/tonne, depending on the feedstock settlements, a producer said.
($1 = €0.74)
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