03 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European adipic acid (ADA) price targets for April have begun to emerge and are wide apart, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.
Several buyers are targeting a price reduction of up to €50/tonne ($64/tonne) following the settlement of the upstream benzene April contract which was agreed down €62/tonne from the previous month.
Buyers said that despite supply shortages, the market remains oversupplied and demand is weak.
Producers, conversely, are targeting price hikes of up to €50/tonne, citing the need to restore profitability and low availability in the market.
Production at one of Germany-based BASF’s ADA lines in Ludwigshafen has been suspended until June for maintenance, a company source said. The maintenance has taken approximately 25% of the plant’s nameplate capacity of 260,000 tonnes/year offline.
Players have also spoken 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.
Contract negotiations are at an early stage and typically conclude at the end of the month.
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