16 October 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The fourth-quarter European butanediol (BDO) contract price was assessed down €10/tonne ($13/tonne) from the previous quarter by ICIS on Tuesday to €2,090-2,140/tonne.
This slight softening is attributed to lower demand for BDO from some sectors compared with that seen previous years.
However, the price range, nevertheless remains supported by ongoing high feedstock costs, a balanced market and overall reasonably healthy requirements for BDO.
One buyer concluded fourth-quarter negotiations at a decrease of €20/tonne from third-quarter levels, while two other buyers settled their respective fourth-quarter contracts at a rollover.
The contracts are done on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
A producer finalised its fourth-quarter contracts €20-30/tonne lower than the previous quarter, while a second producer agreed discounts of €20/tonne from its third-quarter prices.
A third producer settled some of its contracts at a rollover, and others at an increase of €10-20/tonne from third-quarter levels.
Market sentiment appears relatively optimistic but wary.
One buyer described the atmosphere at last week’s 46th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest, Hungary, as “cautious”.
The source added that it was not surprising that there would likely have been an oversupply if not for the recent maintenance period. Purchasers are wary of stocking up, the source added. Buying appears to be taking place on a hand-to-mouth basis.
According to a second buyer, demand from the coatings sector is low, but from the polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) industry it is steady. BDO requirements from the biodegradable plastics sector are increasing, however.
Meanwhile, two producers describe the market as balanced with stable demand, albeit reduced compared with previous years.
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