Romania's Azomures plans melamine restart in September

30 August 2012 12:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Romania-based Azomures plans to restart melamine production at its plant in Targu, Mures, in early September, a source at the fertilizer producer said on Thursday.

Azomure’s 18,000 tonne/year melamine plant remains out of action and has been down since December 2011 when it was shut because of low demand, owing to weakened macroeconomic conditions.

“It is planned to restart melamine production at the beginning of September,” the source said.

Up until the past few weeks, availability in Europe had been balanced-to-long since the second quarter of 2011, and the outage had had little impact on the market. However, availability has recently tightened, pushing spot prices up this week by €70-90/tonne ($88-113/tonne) to €1,050-1,100/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Volumes continue to be exported, as better netbacks can be achieved, while imports from Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) remain delayed because of lower operating rates at some shipping companies in Trinidad. Sources have also said there are fewer quantities arriving from Qatar-based producer QAFCO, but this could not be confirmed at source.

One producer said it is not allowing any pre-buying over and above agreed volumes, because of a shortage in availability.

Producers are set to target increases in the fourth quarter because of low industry stocks, limited imports and steady demand. “… and a continued quest for some semblance of profitability for the supply side of the European industry,” the producer added.

Indications now point to hikes of €100-150/tonne above third-quarter levels. Third-quarter melamine contracts settled at €1,080-1,150/tonne FD NWE.

Melamine is combined with formaldehyde to produce melamine formaldehyde resin. End-products include counter tops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, houseware, guitar saddles, guitar nuts and flame retardants.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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