24 July 2013 13:19 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamine demand for major derivative esterquats (or clothes softener) in July is steady year on year and as expected, major producers and consumers for this sector of the market said on Wednesday.
“For us, our demand is almost like last year, maybe a shade lower. I hope things will improve after the vacation period, but I think the market will continue as it is. I would say demand is normal, not dramatic.
“There is plenty of TEA [triethanolamine] available. There are talks of turnarounds and the delay of material from the US, but in reality [it] is very different. You can get what you want,” said a major buyer.
A second major consumer of TEA said it intended to increase its demand during the third quarter.
“We are trying to increase our volumes and will take more in Q3, despite what happened in Q2. We didn't have problems getting the material at the end of June or early July, but we have had some problems [recently].”
The buyer said it had seen no reduction in its July demand year on year.
Major producers supplying ethanolamines to esterquat customers also spoke of a steady level of demand despite weak macroeconomic conditions.
“TEA in Europe is pretty good, I’m not complaining. The only issue is margins. I think there has been some pre-buying in anticipation of ethylene going up and some customers who are closed in August need to pre-produce a bit,” said one producer.
In relation to its TEA demand, a second producer said: “For TEA I've not heard much noise about esterquats. It’s been stable. It’s about the power of the market.”
A third producer described its esterquats demand as “pretty stable”.
“We're not complaining too much. It’s not that the market is slipping downward – demand was higher last year. But detergents is recession-proof and there is high demand in Europe. It’s a sector that is performing well,” the producer said.
Ethanolamines can be used for applications such as agrochemical production, surfactants, personal care and construction. Monoethanolamine (MEA) is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (EO) with ammonia. The chemical reaction also produces DEA and TEA.
($1 = €0.76)
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