Flat Europe MIBK demand may create opportunities for other producers

19 March 2013 14:42  [Source: ICIS news]

NUREMBURG (ICIS)--Flat methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK) demand may open up opportunities for foreign producers to enter the European market, a supplier at the European Coatings Show in Nuremburg, Germany, said on Tuesday. 

A US-based producer which currently does not operate in the European market sees the current flat levels of MIBK demand as a possible opportunity to grow its business in Europe. If current larger European producers restrict production due to lack of buying activity, or abandon the market altogether, it may open up a gap in the market that smaller producers could fill, the supplier said.

However, a European distributor of MIBK also present at the show said the likelihood of the current large European producers, such as Sasol and Shell, moving out of the market is almost zero due to the levels of investment they have in the market.

Demand for MIBK dropped considerably over 2012 and has remained flat throughout the first quarter of 2013. The poor European economic environment has had a negative impact on end-use consumer markets, such as the automotive sector, where MIBK is used in the production of tyres.

There may be some light at the end of the tunnel for MIBK demand, though, as the distributor said that events like the European Coatings Show, where the industry players come together in one location, can sometimes stimulate interest in slow markets, leading to a possible uptick in demand.

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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