09 March 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Most European acetic acid contract prices for the first quarter have now been agreed at a major decrease from the fourth quarter of 2011, sources said on Friday.
First-quarter contract prices were assessed by ICIS at €400–450/tonne ($533–600/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), down by €150/tonne from the assessed fourth-quarter range of €550–600/tonne FD NWE.
While this price range is representative of most first-quarter contract business, sources said, there were also numbers above this range.
It was widely felt that the assessed price range for fourth-quarter contracts was higher than the real market level, as several had been agreed close to €500/tonne.
The actual price movement from the fourth quarter to the first quarter was down by around €75-100/tonne, sources said.
March contract prices are largely in the range of €370-410/tonne FD NWE, little changed from February levels.
Source described both increases and decreases, but these did not exceed €10/tonne in most cases, with some hikes of €20/tonne linked to southern Europe.
Many contract prices are now negotiated on a monthly basis, while some sellers price their spot tonnes at monthly intervals. However, substantial quantities of acetic acid are also sold on quarterly contracts.
Source said acetic acid availability in Europe remains good, and spot prices are described as stable.
Bulk spot cargoes continue to be priced in the low €400s/tonne FD NWE, with truck deliveries assessed unchanged in the range of €470-500/tonne FD NWE.
($1 = €0.75)
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