08 March 2013 16:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Butyl di-glycol (BdG) supply tightness persists in a weak European market, pushing up prices by €20-60/tonne ($26-79/tonne) this week to hit record-high levels, industry sources said on Friday.
ICIS data show BdG prices at €1,450-1,540/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) this week are the highest on record since 1999.
Record-low prices for BdG were seen in August 2003 at €730-750/tonne FD NWE.
The price increase is partially driven by a €50/tonne hike in the upstream March ethylene contract price.A couple of major northwest European producers, including Shell, are said to be having difficulties in supplying BdG.
Shell announced earlier that it will stop EO-based glycol ethers production during 2013. However, the company is yet to announce a precise date for stopping the manufacture and marketing of its glycol ethers.
Last week, a source close to the company said Shell was still supplying butyl glycol (BG) but had no BdG availability. Shell produces EO-based glycol ethers grades, including BdG and BG from its Pernis site in the Netherlands.
Switzerland-headquartered INEOS previously said it would have no spot availability of BdG because of an outage at its Lavera cracker in France. The cracker is now said to have restarted and operating at low rates.
Meanwhile, BG supply is long, and prices have increased by a smaller margin of €20-30/tonne. Currently, prices are at €1,340-1,380/tonne FD NWE.
Demand for BG and BdG continues to be poor in Europe because of slow business in the downstream paints and coatings industry.
($1 = €0.76)
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