01 February 2013 16:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--February European toluene contracts were agreed at $1,275-1,279/tonne (€944-946/tonne), sources said on Friday, down $15-46/tonne from the previous month’s range, as the initial agreements received further support from players.
A settlement at $1,279/tonne was reported late on Thursday January 31 by one consumer. This was followed by another consumer, who reported an agreement at $1,275/tonne.
Two producers confirmed they had agreed contracts for February at these numbers, citing bearish sentiment at least for the first half of February.
However, the upcoming gasoline season and several planned turnarounds could tighten the market as March draws closer, one of the producers argued.
Another seller later confirmed it had settled February at $1,279/tonne with its customers.
Players were slow to finalise February contracts, in a market still characterised by thin spot activity making it difficult for players to gauge price levels.
Some spot deals were done at $1,310-1,320/tonne early in January for export purposes, but the market has gradually eased down since then in line with Asian pricing.
With no significant demand for material outside of contracted volumes, buyers have argued that domestic spot pricing needed to move in line with global market in order to make export business viable.
“There was a lot of discussion around whether Europe was long,” said one producer. “It was the export netback that the focus.”
The contracts were settled on a free on board (FOB) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.74)
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