Europe ethanolamines price pressure continues into July

03 July 2013 17:37  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European ethanolamine market will remain under downward pressure if demand deteriorates in July and imports continue to be offered at competitive levels, sources said on Wednesday.

A seller of all three grades of ethanolamines said: “The trend is the same for June – there is price pressure for monoethanolamine [MEA] for sure. For diethanolamine [DEA] and triethanolamine [TEA] we have some very low number numbers from several origins.”

“The tendency is rather down than up,” the seller added.

MEA prices moved down in June.

For July, the seller said that selling MEA above €1,400/tonne ($1,818/tonne) on a free delivered (FD) basis was “rare”.

One producer of ethanolamines described its demand as weak, adding that some of its customers were seeking reductions of €50-100/tonne for July volumes.

“We expect to roll over the prices we had in May and June but clients insist on a decrease of €50/tonne up to €100/tonne. They say that market is very, very, depressed. We have decided to wait and are delaying our position,” the producer said.

However another producer, while acknowledging that “demand could be better” said it would not be moving its price down in July.

The supplier, selling DEA, said: “Things are fairly stable for us and it is volume over price. €1,150/tonne – this is our target and we’re not moving on this.”

Another market participant, trading ethanolamines, felt the downward pressure was purely demand driven.

“There’s not so many imports being offered, but demand is a bit disappointing for the season. Business is difficult because of slow demand. It really is demand and Asia is not good price-wise.

“Right now MEA prices are the weakest - DEA and TEA are stable,” the trader said.

Ethanolamines can be used for applications such as agrochemical production, surfactants, personal care and construction. MEA is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (EO) with ammonia. The chemical reaction also produces DEA and TEA.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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