19 July 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
Compounding grade (natural) was assessed by ICIS at €2,165-2,175/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), injection moulding (natural) at €2,255-2,280/tonne FD NWE and extrusion grade (natural) at €2,180-2,280/tonne FD NWE.
Prices fell as a result of lower feedstock costs, slow demand and competitive Asian imports.
Some sources said that sellers had reduced prices more heavily in some instances in order to secure volumes.
“At the moment European prices are lower than Asian prices,” one customer pointed out. “Why would you buy from Asia if you can get material cheaper here?”
European producers say that they are still struggling with thin margins. “We have given away the full decrease in feedstock costs,” one producer said. “We want to stop any further margin erosion and try to get some margin recovery next month”.
July butadiene (BD) contract prices fell by €250/tonne and are under pressure again for August.
Demand is generally described as steady, and some sellers say it is better than expected this month, despite weak downstream end-use sectors.
Several customers are going into planned maintenance in August however, and some say they will have little need of material next month. Operating rates remain reduced, with producers mentioning rates of 75-80%.
($1 = €0.76)
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