Europe March ethanolamine prices, demand steady

20 March 2013 13:38  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European March ethanolamine prices and demand have stayed around the same levels as February, give or take some minor price increases, sources said on Wednesday.

March prices were agreed at €1,500-1,550/tonne ($1,923-1,987.tonne) for monoethanolamine (MEA), €1,150-1,200/tonne for diethanolamine (DEA) and  €1,520-1,600/tonne for triethanolamine (TEA).

The March prices are all on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

“Demand has been a little quiet this month and we don’t see any [price] increases so far. I hear maybe plus €10-20/tonne here and there,” said one producer.

second larger producer also confirmed that most of its sales prices for March were at the same levels as February.

“There was an increase in [feedstock] ethylene, but this had not given us a chance to pass it on. I believe from February to March prices have not moved up,” the producer said.

Although the producer said that its selling price was unchanged from one month to the next, it did see its TEA prices above €1,200/tonne.

On the buying side, sources also said their March prices were unchanged despite increases in major feedstock ethylene. This was because demand was steady-to-soft from one month to the next and no problems were experienced with availability, despite INEOS Oxide’s production problems in Lavera, France.

There was no confirmation from INEOS Oxide regarding its ethanolamine production. The Lavera plant has the capacity to produce 53,000 tonnes/year.

Another market source also said March felt very much like February in terms of pricing and demand.

“February and March have been similar months. There was a push [on price] and some sellers partly succeeded, but I think everybody is waiting to see what April will be like,” the distributor source said.

“Demand did not increase and it’s simply because of the economic situation. Financially the situation is shaky and there are still lots of problems. The market is very difficult to forecast” he concluded.

Ethanolamines can be used for applications such as agrochemical production, surfactants, personal care and construction.

MEA is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (EO) with ammonia. The chemical reaction also produces DEA and TEA.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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