Europe June flexible polyols contract prices fall on soft demand

12 June 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European flexible polyol contract prices have been pressured lower in June, despite higher upstream propylene costs, because of subdued demand and plentiful supply, market players said on Wednesday.

In terms of absolute numbers, flexible polyol contract prices in June have mainly been confirmed between €1,690-1,750/tonne ($2,253-2,333/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to ICIS.

This represents a decrease of €30/tonne at the low-end and a price drop of €60/tonne at the upper part of range.

Lower numbers were reported for flexible polyols in June by a few buyers, but there was insufficient market confirmation to substantiate this. However, there is a discrepancy about the delta moves and absolute numbers quoted for flexible polyols in June.

Average price reductions of €30-40/tonne were mentioned in June, however, the overriding reference point remains the absolute numbers provided.

Rollovers were also heard for flexible polyol contract prices in a few cases in June, but this was an exception.

Flexible polyol supply remains plentiful and the downstream bedding and furniture sectors continue to suffer amid reduced consumer confidence and spending, as well as low seasonality. Downstream automotive outlets also remain subdued because of ongoing soft macroeconomic conditions.

In contrast to flexible polyols, rigid polyol contract prices have been agreed largely steady at €1,980-2,050/tonne FD in June, although some selective price softening was also seen. 

The general stable sentiment for rigid polyols was supported by some seasonal uptick in the downstream construction sector, although not as much as in recent years amid ongoing economic constraints.  In addition, a proportion of rigid polyol contracts have been fixed on a quarterly basis, which means that these prices will also roll over into June.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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