Europe April ethanolamine prices steady-to-soft

17 April 2013 15:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European April ethanolamine prices are steady although some price pressure is being felt in southern Europe, market sources said on Wednesday.

“There’s no real big demand and all the numbers I have are the same as last month,” said a distributor source.  

“I have regular customers purchasing volume, but their demand is not really increasing,” she added.

April prices were quoted at €1,500-1,550/tonne ($1,974-2,039/tonne) for monoethanolamine (MEA), €1,150-1,200/tonne for diethanolamine (DEA) and  €1,520-1,600/tonne for triethanolamine (TEA), all on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

Although prices quoted in NWE were steady compared to March, lower prices were mentioned in the south of Europe but for no apparent reasons.

Another distributor also said that its prices were largely unchanged, although it had been told about some lower prices.

During April producers have been unwilling to lower their prices just because feedstock costs have moved down.

“We expected lower numbers. When you look at ethylene and propylene related markets prices have come down but we’ve not seen this on ethanolamines,” the distributor said.

While there had been no official statements in relation to April price intentions, European producers stressed that they had no intention of reducing the value of MEA, DEA or TEA just because ethylene was cheaper.

One producer said: “I can see it's pretty much unchanged. I didn’t expect much to happen. When olefins went up ethanolamines didn’t go up.”

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 = €0.76)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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