22 May 2013 20:06 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Demand for acrylate esters in May in Europe has picked up slightly, but is below levels seen at the same time in 2012, sources said on Wednesday.
May demand is not as healthy as normal, because concerns surrounding the eurozone debt crisis have hampered consumer confidence; and a later- and colder-than-usual start to spring has delayed outdoor building projects, thus slowing purchases into the coatings sector.
However, orders are being made and sales are up compared with earlier months in the year, sources from the industry confirmed. Demand from the coatings sector has also improved, market participants said, and while weather in Europe is not as warm as it traditionally is in spring, it is warm enough for building projects to get underway.
Offtake levels and the demand outlook in Europe for acrylate esters varies, depending on source.
A number of consumers indicate that demand is in line with April levels and estimate that consumption has fallen by around 10% year on year.
The outlook for June is flat with May, some buyers said, but others expect to still see some uptick next month.
A couple of producers said May and June volumes look healthy, with one expecting to see the stronger trend continuing into July. Another supplier said its demand had picked up by 30% compared with April. It added that it saw no reason to lower prices in June, and stressed its need to recoup margins.
“We are seeing good demand going into June as we have seen in May,” the first producer said. “Our month of May will finish with very good volumes. It is a shame, as I hear all the time that the market is not picking up and the coatings season is not happening, and yet we are seeing demand from the very same customers that are telling us that the season is not happening.”
The producer added: “Overall, I have the feeling that June will be a good month and July is likely to follow the same trend.”
The second producer said: “I think we are seeing demand pick up. Basically our May demand is 30% higher than April. It's increased despite the weather conditions. I think that demand in June will be about the same as May. We expect good demand for June.”
($1 = €0.78)
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