Europe June ethanolamines settle €20-30/tonne down from May

27 June 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European June ethanolamines contract prices settled on Wednesday down by €20-30/tonne ($25-38/tonne) on average from May, following on from the €120/tonne drop in upstream June ethylene amid ongoing soft supply and demand fundamentals.

However, the full range of decreases reported were between minus €10-50/tonne, depending on grade and source.

A couple of producers were happy to admit they had been able to keep back some of the relief afforded by the upstream decline. Demand in their view was stable, albeit soft, ammonia costs remained firm and they added that in any case, ethanolamines increases throughout the first quarter had lagged behind the upstream moves.

As in previous months, decreases were more frequently quoted for monoethanolamine (MEA), which is typical since this market has been coming under increasing pressure from more competitively-priced import volumes than the diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) markets.

A wide range continues to be seen on all three grades.

MEA, DEA and TEA prices for June are at €1,390–1,470/tonne, €1,020-1,100/tonne and €1,430-1,480/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) respectively.

Spot levels vary widely for MEA and TEA and are reported at €1,320-1,390/tonne FD NWE and the high €1,300s/tonne to mid-€1,400s/tonne respectively.

There are expectations of a further reduction in prices for the next month amid widespread speculation the July ethylene contract is poised for another sharp drop on the back of soft demand and weak feedstock fundamentals. July ethylene contract discussions are ongoing, with a settlement expected by the end of the week.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Nel Weddle
+44 20 8652 3214

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