25 June 2013 16:19 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European methylene chloride spot prices are at their lowest levels since August 2010 as a result of increased competition and lower-than-expected demand, market sources said on Tuesday.
The assessment range settled at €500-630/tonne ($658-829/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) last week, the lowest since 31 August 2010 when it settled at €500-570/tonne, according to ICIS data.
“We are all fighting for the demand,” a producer said. “Normally demand is low this time of year but not this low. Our competitors are lowering prices a lot but I believe it is an artificial softening and will not last.”
The producer went on to say that the market is structurally oversupplied and anti-dumping investigations currently underway in India could cause some product to stay on the continent when it would otherwise be exported.
“It is a kind of battlefield”, a trader said, describing the global situation. This is in context of a bearish sentiment in Asia which could add further downward pressure on the European market.
Methylene chloride – the most widely used of the chlorinated solvents – has a variety of applications, such as paint and varnish removal, as an extraction medium/process solvent, and electronics and metal cleaning. Producers in Europe include Solvay, AkzoNobel, KEM ONE, and Dow.
($1 = €0.76)
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