08 October 2012 11:02 [Source: ICIS news]
BUDAPEST (ICIS)--Participants involved in European October bisphenol A (BPA) contract negotiations are expecting tough talks ahead with participants holding different pricing views, sources said on Monday.
Some sources in the European BPA market, speaking on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) conference, think supply can tighten as a result of a five-week maintenance shutdown at US-based Momentive’s 160,000 tonne/year BPA plant in Pernis, the Netherlands, which began in the first weekend of October, leading to higher prices.
The planned shutdown, which Momentive said is necessary to install a new control system that will make production more efficient, has caused some nervousness in the market and a number of buyers have begun to build up stock, sources said.
"Demand has certainly increased during September, perhaps because people are pre-buying," a major BPA producer said.
A number of players last week said prices will go up by about €20-40/tonne ($26-52/tonne) in October, however, there are a number of others who spoke of rollovers or even decreases. In addition, one buyer said there is still plentiful supply and it was not worried about the shutdown.
"I actually got a decrease of €30/tonne and given the recent small drops in benzene prices I think it was justified," the buyer.
Operating rates in Europe are still below average, estimated at around 50-60%. With the shutdown and reduced operating rates there is a possibility that supply will become problematic if demand picks up, sources said.
BPA October contracts are likely to settle this week.
($1 = €0.77)
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