Europe acetic acid May contracts up by €20–30/tonne from April

18 May 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Acetic acid May contract prices were mostly settled at modest increases from April, sources said on Friday.

Prices were assessed up by €20–30/tonne ($25–38/tonne) in the range of €420–450/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Prices above and below this range were also heard.

ICIS introduced a monthly contract price assessment in March 2012. Substantial quantities of acetic acid are also sold on quarterly contracts.

The modest increase in the May contract price indicates that the force majeure declared by BP on 27 April has not had as severe an impact on the market as some participants expected at the time of the outage.

BP’s 50% allocation on acetic acid supplies from its 532,000 tonne/year Hull plant in the UK is expected to remain in place until late May.

Force majeure was declared following a syngas leak at the reformer at the site’s A4 production unit. The producer said the supply allocation would last 30 days.
The A4 unit is one of two acetic acid units that BP operates at the site, the other being a swing unit that can also produce acetic anhydride. The A4 unit comprises slightly more than 50% of BP’s acetic acid production at Hull.

The spot market remained very thin this week, and many European participants were unavailable in the latter part of the week on account of public holidays in several countries.

Spot prices for deliveries by truck were assessed at €590–620/tonne FD NWE. Price ideas for bulk cargoes were mostly heard in the mid-€500s/tonne FD NWE.

($1 = €0.79)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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