Price and market trends: Europe polyols May contract prices lower on costs, demand

17 May 2013 09:53  [Source: ICB]

Flexible polyol demand is hit by poor downstream demand from the furniture and auto sectors amidst plentiful supply

European polyol contract prices have been pressured lower in May on feedstock cost relief, reasonable-to-soft demand and good supply, market players said on 8 May.

Slabstock conventional flexible polyols have been subject to larger price reductions than sucrose rigid polyols as the former are more susceptible to fluctuations in upstream propylene and ethylene contract prices.

Demand is soft in bedding, furniture and automotive sectors and flexible polyol supply is plentiful.

Flexible polyol demand is muted amid economic constraints and low seasonal factors.

Slabstock conventional flexible polyols have been assessed down by €50-60/tonne ($66-79/tonne) in May, at €1,720-1,810/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS.

Larger price drops of €70/tonne and lower price decreases of €10-40/tonne were heard but not widely confirmed.

Numbers below the flexible polyol range in May were mentioned in a few cases, but there was insufficient market confirmation to substantiate this.

Monthly base rigid sucrose polyol business showed average decreases of €30/tonne in May, with any rollovers largely incorporated within the range.

Prices have therefore been assessed at €1,980-2,050/tonne FD NWE. There were lower numbers, but these were not seen as representative for northwest Europe.

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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