Europe epoxy resins March price direction unclear

26 February 2013 17:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European liquid epoxy resins (LER) producers on Tuesday gave mixed feedback on their March price targets, with two saying they will target at least €100/tonne increases and another stating it will target rollovers.

One of the producers said that although it is targeting an increase, it may not be possible to carry it out if demand remains weak and there is a lot of resistance from buyers.

A major producer said that if upstream propylene prices increase in March it will be very firm in its targets and will not accept rollovers or anything below a €50/tonne ($66/tonne) hike.

Propylene sellers are pushing for sizeable price hikes of €50-100/tonne because of the increase in naphtha costs over the last month and to recover margins, but buyers said they will struggle to accept anything more than a modest increase, as downstream demand remains fragile.

Epoxy resins buyers said they will definitely not pay more for epoxy resins in March than they did in February because they cannot afford to do so. They cannot pass on the increases – and as benzene prices dropped in February sellers ought to pass this price fall on to buyers, they argued.

Two buyers said they will target rollovers in March – if there are increases they will definitely not be much because demand is poor, they added. One of the buyers said the European market is stable, and it expected no major improvement during the second quarter. The other buyer said that the market is long, and the question is for how much longer it will stay that way.

Sellers said they will aim to keep as much of the feedstock drops in February as they can because they need to recover thin margins.

February LER prices are at €2,630-2,670/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

($1 = €0.76)

Follow Janos Gal on Twitter @janosgalICIS 

By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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