Price and market trends: Europe melamine spot prices fall on weak demand

07 June 2013 10:04  [Source: ICB]

European melamine spot prices have come down by €50/tonne ($64/tonne) on poor demand in a balanced-to-long market, sources said on 29 May.

The spot range that week was at €1,250-1,350/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), but very little business was taking place.

The majority of melamine consumers were covered by their contract volumes, and there was no demand for additional material, despite it being the second quarter and the week that a major producer will enter into an extended shutdown.

The second quarter is usually the healthiest in the European melamine market, supported by increased activity in the end-use construction sector. However, weak macroeconomic conditions, concerns regarding the eurozone economy, and a cold spring have slowed buying interest and sapped consumer confidence.

"I see demand as pretty low," one trader said. "I think the producers have high inventories and they are pushing for orders, but demand is weak. This is a realistic view of the market."

There are a few imports coming into Europe. "Not many imports coming in," the trader added. "At this moment, with this demand, there is no room for imports."

One buyer said demand is weak and that it had had no problems in obtaining its required volumes so far this quarter, despite outages.

Demand has dropped by 5-25% compared with levels in the second quarter of 2012.

A seller said last week: "It could hardly be worse."

It went on to say that demand was more likely to increase than decrease, simply because it was already at such a low level.

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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