08 February 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European acetic acid February contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday at €400-440/tonne ($533-587/tonne), unchanged from January.
The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
The majority of monthly prices rolled over on continuing good availability. Modest increases were heard for some accounts, but these were not considered representative of the overall market trend.
The Q1 methanol contract was concluded at a €30/tonne increase, which has placed some upward pressure on prices.
However, the acetic acid market remains well-supplied, and buyers confirmed that the low end of the assessed range is valid for February.
ICIS introduced a monthly contract price assessment in March 2012. Substantial quantities of acetic acid continue to be sold on quarterly contracts.
One buyer said it is expecting to achieve price cuts in March, although a reseller said it may seek increases next month on expectations of a firm trend on methanol prices.
The reseller said that bulk cargoes are currently priced at €410-420/tonne CIF NWE.
Spot prices for delivery by truck were assessed stable at €480-500/tonne FD NWE.
A trader noted that there are no arbitrage opportunities at present for spot tonnes.
Downstream, INEOS has lifted its force majeure on vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) supplies from its Hull plant in the UK with immediate effect, a company spokesman said on Friday.
The INEOS spokesman had confirmed at the start of the week that the Hull plant was operating.
INEOS declared force majeure on VAM supplies from the 300,000 tonne/year plant in late December, with customers being placed on supply allocation.
Market sources said that the impact of the lost production had not been too severe during January.
($1 = €0.75)
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