06 March 2013 11:01 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European March toluene contracts were confirmed at $1,265-1,275/tonne (€974-982/tonne), down $4-10/tonne from last month, sources said on Wednesday, as the initial settlements received further support from players.
One supplier initially said that it had agreed March volumes in a range of $1,270-1,275/tonne, which was confirmed by consumers. Another seller later added it had settled March at $1,272.50/tonne with its customers.
A major consumer confirmed it had settled March contracts at $1,265-1,270/tonne, and another buyer later said it had agreed its March volumes “within these ranges”.
Despite ongoing illiquidity and some growing downward pressure on the market, as buyers and traders looked for export opportunities into the US, one of the suppliers involved in the negotiations said that at least one of the contracts had been settled at a rollover from February.
Buyers are still pushing for lower numbers to capitalise on potential arbitrage opportunities, with bids as low as $1,220/tonne heard this week. However, sellers are largely unwilling to lower offers much below contract levels in a balanced market.
Additionally, freight availability from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region to the US Gulf remains tight, with March space difficult to find already. One source said that a 5,000 tonne parcel would have to wait until April to be shipped from Europe.
The contracts were settled on a free on board (FOB) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
($1 = €0.77)
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