Price & Market Trends: Europe September AA, acrylate esters up on propylene

28 September 2012 10:25  [Source: ICB]

European September acrylic acid (AA) and acrylate esters contract prices have mostly increased by €40-50/tonne ($52-65/tonne) on higher feedstock propylene costs.

One producer said: "Increases are €50/tonne, but not enough to recoup the propylene increases."

AA contracts for September settled at €1,850-1,890/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (Northwest Europe), up €50/tonne from August. The spot price moved up by €20/tonne to €1,510-1,570/tonne FD.

SQUEEZED MARGINS

Production margins have been squeezed this year as raw material costs have risen, while demand has been lower than usual. August and September propylene contracts increased by a total of €225/tonne, and buyers in the derivative esters market recognise that these prices need to be absorbed further down the chain.

EU Acrylic acidDemand has picked up slightly since the subdued summer period but the outlook for the coming weeks remains unclear, in light of economic uncertainty.

Methyl acrylate (methyl-A) prices for September are assessed at €1,820-1,890/tonne FD NWE, up by €40-50/tonne from August. Spot is steady at €1,650-1,690/tonne FD, amid limited trade.

Ethyl acrylate (ethyl-A) September contract prices are at €1,900-1,940/tonne FD NWE, up €50/tonne, while ethyl-A spot is steady at €1,500-1,530/tonne FD.

Butyl acrylate (butyl-A) prices have risen to €1,840-1,890/tonne FD NWE, up by €40-50/tonne from August, while spot is firmer on the high end at €1,490-1,560/tonne FD. Prices for 2-ethylhexyl acrylate (2-EHA) are at €2,130-2,170/tonne, up by €20-40/tonne, and 2-EHA spot is at €1,760-1,850/tonne FD NWE, up by €10-30/tonne.

The September European propylene contract price settled at €1,160/tonne FD NWE. Both sides agreed an increase was necessary given high naphtha costs and to recoup cracker margin losses.

There are expectations producers will target increases in October AA and acrylate esters contracts, in an effort to claw back margins.


By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214



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