23 January 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European January contract prices for acrylic acid (AA) and acrylate esters have been assessed at rollovers and with slight decreases, amid steady market conditions and on the back of the lower propylene contract price this month, sources said on Wednesday.
The January propylene contract price came down by €13/tonne.
There has been a small uptick in acrylates consumption versus December levels, although a number of players continue to report steady demand. Availability is healthy, although inventories remain low.
Despite the seemingly slow pace of the market, order books are filling up and one producer said it was struggling to meet customer requirements.
Price increases are expected in February as producers are keen to recoup margins that have been eroded since the second quarter of 2012. Demand is likely to pick up in preparation for the coatings and construction season in spring and availability might tighten, adding further upward pressure. One acrylates producer will enter into a three-week turnaround in April and plans to build its stocks ahead of the outage.
It is too early for most players to speculate on potential targets for next month, but there was talk that a triple-digit hike might be announced in the coming weeks.
AA contracts for January are at €1,863-1,880/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), €13/tonne lower on the high end of the range.
Butyl acrylate (butyl-A) prices came down at the high end of the range to €1,823-1,860/tonne FD NWE, while 2-EHA contract prices are slightly lower at €2,113-2,140/tonne.
($1 = €0.75)
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