09 April 2013 14:45 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--A European methylene chloride buyer said on Tuesday that it is seriously considering the option of importing tonnes from Asia, because European product is no longer competitive.
The buyer, which is based in southern Europe, described European methylene chloride prices as “artificially high”, and said there is a need to restore competitiveness for European chlorine derivatives.
The source noted that bulk prices are under $250/tonne (€193/tonne) FOB (free on board) China, which it said was low enough to allow for the necessary transport costs.
The buyer acknowledged that it would need to purchase a minimum of 1,500 tonnes to make up a bulk cargo, but said there were options for storing the product in Europe until it was needed.
European methylene chloride imports for 2012 totalled 1,052 tonnes, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat, compared with exports of 70,937 tonnes for the year.
Domestic European spot prices are assessed by ICIS at €640-700/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and €540-620/tonne FD Med (Mediterranean).
European producers have been pressing for price increases in recent months, citing the erosion of their margins by higher feedstock costs, but their efforts have been undermined by good availability.
Methylene chloride – the most widely used of the chlorinated solvents – has a variety of applications, such as paint and varnish removal, as an extraction medium/process solvent, and electronics and metal cleaning.
($1 = €0.77)
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