Price and market trends: Acrylate esters demand sees slight improvement on warmer weather

17 May 2013 09:54  [Source: ICB]

However, outlook remains cautious and demand is not expected to improve radically in the coming weeks

Acrylate esters demand in Europe is improving slightly, because of warmer weather, and buying interest might pick up further in the next couple of weeks as end-users undertake DIY projects, a trader said on 8 May.

"Demand is a little more active in the last 10 days because of better weather," the trader said. "People at home are doing DIY, even though it's holidays."

Acrylic acid and its esters are used in the manufacture of various plastics, coatings, adhesives and elastomers, as well as floor polishes and paints.

There has been an increase in the number of enquiries, and this is being attributed to the warmer weather, but the move up has been marginal. Temperatures in Europe are still below average for the time of year and this is affecting market sentiment, sources said.

Holidays in May are resulting in a quiet market overall, but some players hope that demand from the DIY market will boost sales. Nevertheless, the outlook remains cautious and demand is not expected to improve radically in the coming weeks.

"The private people are using these holidays to do something to their homes so we might see more demand in the next couple of weeks from the DIY market," the trader explained.

Although buying interest has improved slightly since the end of April, consumer confidence is lacking. Weak macroeconomic conditions, lower feedstock costs and reduced buying power in the sector, are expected to put downward price pressure on the industry in May.

"It's not only propylene, it's also the demand and the economy. It doesn't give people much confidence," the trader added.

The May feedstock propylene contract price fell by €80/tonne ($105/tonne).

Contract negotiations for May prices are ongoing. Decreases of €20-30/tonne and lower are being agreed. Discussions are expected to conclude next week.

April prices rolled over and decreased on the back of a fall in the upstream April propylene price, amid a balanced market.

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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