Europe September PO prices rise on propylene feedstock costs

14 September 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European propylene oxide (PO) contract prices have increased by €84-90/tonne ($109-117/tonne) in September on intensified propylene feedstock cost pressure and snug supply, market players said on Friday.

This marks the second successive increase in European PO contract prices, largely driven by higher raw material costs.

To reflect this, the range has been changed to €1,562-1,678/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

PO formula-related contracts moved up by €84/tonne in September, in line with 80% of the propylene feedstock increase.

PO freely-negotiated accounts saw larger hikes than formula-related ones of around €90/tonne in September, because of a combination of higher raw material costs and some output limitations.

Larger hikes of €100/tonne for freely-negotiated accounts were also heard in September, but they were not widely confirmed.

PO supply is limited because of some output limitations, in combination with reasonable-to-good demand. However, a few buyers considered that demand is flat and any real pick up is unlikely because of ongoing economic uncertaity and the approaching low season in the main downstream construction and unsaturated polyester resin sectors.

In production news, there was ongoing market talk that planned maintenance was still underway at Dow and BASF’s joint venture hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) facility in Antwerp, Belgium. The maintenance was thought to have started at the end of August and last until the end of September. However, this has not been officially confirmed.

There is no further update available on Oltchim’s PO and polyols production in Romania, which is thought to have been shut down from the end of August for maintenance. Previous reports suggested the turnaround may last until the second half of September.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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