07 October 2012 17:59 [Source: ICIS news]
BUDAPEST (ICIS)--Ethyl acetate (etac) imports into Europe from China have been “non-existent” over the past three to four months, an importing trader based in the Netherlands said.
"Spot business is non-existent. What is [available] here was imported in the first half [of the year]," the source noted on the sidelines of the 46th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting.
"[Traders] kept the product in the tanks in the first half and decided not to sell, because they would have lost money. [So] people who bought still have product. I am 100% sure there has been no Chinese imports in the last three to four months," the trader added.
Etac prices have been mostly stable in 2012 compared with previous years, despite steep price rises and falls in feedstock ethylene. Prices were unchanged at one point for three months – from March to May – at €950-980/tonne.
The stable prices resulted in little incentive for etac producers based in India and China to sell into Europe.
Along with the stiff competition, a mostly stable acetic acid spot market and underlying slow demand for etac from the major downstream industrial coatings sector have contributed to the relative stability in the etac market this year.
The situation could change if etac prices in Europe moved up in the near future, the source said.
However, etac has been selling stable at €950-980/tonne FD NWE since early September, despite a reduction in imports.
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