Europe August ethanolamine price discussions delayed by holidays

07 August 2013 14:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamine price discussions for August deliveries are underway but the absence of market participants due to summer holidays means that some have been delayed, source said on Wednesday.

Prior to the August settlement of major feedstock ethylene, producers said they would be pushing for the full ethylene increase. That ethylene contract price finally settled at an increase of €40/tonne from the previous month.

A large European producer said that it announced an increase of €50/tonne ($67/tonne) for all three grades - monoethanolamines (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA).

However, in reality it expects to see its MEA price firm by around €30/tonne.

It described its demand for TEA as “looking better” and as “still reasonably good”.

Ahead of the August ethylene settlement, a major ethanolamine producer said: “We will be going for the full ethylene increase in August, take it or leave it.”

While producers say they are not feeling much downward pressure from competatively priced imports, a trader said imports from Asia in particular continue to cause “extreme pressure” on MEA.

The trader of all three ethanolamine grades believed this would impair producers August price targets.

“I would say the [import] situation continues. Even more extreme. MEA will be the longest product in the market. DEA and TEA will be quite short. There is big pressure on MEA because of imports from Asia and the Middle East,” the trader said.

It quoted TEA at €1,400-1,420/tonne, DEA in the mid €1,100s/tonne and MEA at €1,330-1,340/tonne. All quotes are on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

A second trader described business as quiet this week. It doubted that producers' price initivatives would be successful because demand was low.

“It’s quiet at the moment because it’s vacation time and enquiries are all on hold at the moment.

“Where there is not enough demand I think prices might go down.

“MEA is a little more quiet than expected, but this morning I got an enquiry for TEA. The price idea was around €1,300/tonne which is far too low. TEA is more around €1,390/tonne. MEA is in a €1,350 -1,400/tonne price range and DEA is still short and around €1,150/tonne,” the reseller 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 = €0.75)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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