03 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European adipic acid (ADA) March contract prices have settled at an average increase of €25-30/tonne ($32-38/tonne), buyers and sellers confirmed on Wednesday.
Price hikes beyond the upstream benzene March contract price rise of €14/tonne were necessitated by producers’ need to restore margins lost since mid-2011.
Some buyers said that they had settled at a more limited increase of €20/tonne in March, and some sellers said that they achieved price rises of €40/tonne, but increases of €25-30/tonne were widely confirmed.
Producers were able to push through price increases beyond the benzene pass through as a result of of tightening ADA supply.
Production at one of BASF’s ADA lines in Ludwigshafen, Germany, has been suspended until June for maintenance, a company source confirmed.
The maintenance has taken approximately 25% of the plant’s nameplate capacity of 260,000 tonnes/year.
There have been rumours of production problems in other regions, and in the feedstock cyclohexane (CX) market, which some ADA sellers said would lead to further shortages in April, but this could not be confirmed at source.
Underlying ADA demand remains weak because of poor macroeconomic conditions, which have limited consumer purchasing power.
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