Majority of Europe acetic acid January contract prices roll over

18 January 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetic acid January contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday in the range of €400–440/tonne ($533–587/tonne), unchanged from December.

The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

The majority of January contract prices for acetic acid were rolled over on good availability, sources said.

Some upward pressure was noted as a result of higher first quarter methanol costs, but the impact from this was expected to be seen in February pricing.

While most January contracts saw no change from December price levels, a reseller said it had managed to secure price increases of €10–20/tonne.

The reseller cited good demand, higher methanol costs and expectations of tighter supply later in the year when some producers are due to hold maintenance turnarounds.

There has been no impact on the acetic acid market from INEOS' declaration of force majeure on downstream vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), the source said.

A reseller based in eastern Europe observed a slight downward trend, and said that €400/tonne FD is the current price ceiling in the region.

A buyer described weak market fundamentals and good availability, but noted that there is some upward pressure, which it attributed to higher methanol prices.

A second buyer said that the market remains well-supplied, which it attributed in part to the loss of demand from INEOS' VAM plant in Hull, UK.

ICIS introduced a monthly contract price assessment in March 2012. Substantial quantities of acetic acid continue to be sold on quarterly contracts.

Spot prices for delivery by truck were assessed at €480–500/tonne FD NWE, while bulk cargoes were most recently heard in the low-to-mid-€400s/tonne FD NWE.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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