Europe acetic acid April contracts up slightly on higher methanol

19 April 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetic acid April contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday at €405-450/tonne ($526-584/tonne), up by €5/tonne at the low end compared with March.

The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

April contracts were heard concluded at modest increases from March. Sources explained that the rise reflected the increase in the upstream methanol Q2 contract price, improved demand for acetic acid, and the start of planned maintenance turnarounds at several European plants.

A producer indicated an average increase of €10/tonne for accounts in northwest Europe, with prices at €410/tonne FD NWE and above. The source acknowledged that the market is not short on supply.

Another producer that had targeted increases of €25/tonne said it has settled its April prices at plus €10-20/tonne.

The source said that spot prices are at €430-440/tonne delivered for bulk cargoes and above €500/tonne FD NWE in some cases for trucks.

The seller added that participants in the downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) sector are more optimistic than before.

A buyer confirmed a slight increase for its April acetic acid contracts of around €5/tonne, but said its price is still below €410/tonne FD NWE.

Some early indications have emerged on Q2 contract prices, confirming an upward trend.

A producer said the contracts that it had settled so far were agreed at increases averaging more than €20/tonne.

The producer said it has seen stronger seasonal demand, particularly from the construction industry and the PTA sector.

A buyer said that one of its suppliers has proposed a small increase for Q2 contracts, but the source emphasised that demand in the PTA industry remains weak.

An acetic acid producer in eastern Europe said it had raised its spot prices by €20-30/tonne.

A reseller based in the region said that planned turnarounds are having little impact on the market owing to steadily declining consumption month on month.

Spot prices for truck delivery were assessed in the range of €480-505/tonne FD NWE, up by €5/tonne at the high end.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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