Europe June EO prices see slight increase on higher ethylene

07 June 2013 15:37  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethylene oxide (EO) June contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday at an increase of €4/tonne ($5/tonne) from May.

June contract prices were assessed at €1,302-1,469/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and €1,357-1,514/tonne FD Med (Mediterranean).

The price increases represent 82% of the modest €5/tonne rise in the upstream June ethylene contract.

The overwhelming majority of EO contracts are formula-based, and price movement comprises 80-85% of the change in the ethylene price, with 82% taken as an average for assessment purposes.

Most of the turnarounds at European plants scheduled for the spring/summer maintenance season have now ended, although a few have yet to start.

Sources indicated that the effect on the market has been very limited owing to continued lacklustre demand for EO.

A buyer said there had been ample supply in Europe throughout the spate of recent outages. Although warmer weather has arrived following an unusually cool spring, the buyer said it does not expect to see any significant improvement in demand during the summer, as the second half of the year typically sees lower offtake than the first half.

A producer said it had received additional enquiries for material as one of its competitors was experiencing difficulties in delivering product to Italy and southern Germany because of heavy flooding.

Demand for EO from the downstream surfactants sector has proven largely resistant to the economic downturn, whereas the automotive and construction industries have struggled in recent years.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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