Europe oxo-alcohols producers target August price hikes

07 August 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European oxo-alcohols producers are seeking higher prices for August in response to the €50/tonne rise in the upstream propylene contract, market sources said on Wednesday.

While many players are now on holiday, producers said that any hikes not accepted in August would be postponed to September.

One producer said it is targeting August increases of €35/tonne ($47/tonne) for 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) and €30/tonne for n-butanol (NBA) and isobutanol (IBA). The source said it has achieved plus €20-25/tonne so far on average.

The producer observed that July sales volumes had been good, and hoped that the trend would continue into August.

A second producer said it is seeking increases of €80/tonne for NBA this month. The seller acknowledged that August is a quiet month, but noted that feedstock prices could increase further in September.

A third producer said it is concluding its August prices at an average increase of €35/tonne for 2-EH and €30/tonne for NBA, in spite of slow seasonal demand, particularly in southern Europe.

The source said that the hikes were necessary to preserve margins and would do little to encourage buyers, but it hoped nevertheless that buying interest would increase towards the end of the month.

A fourth producer said that feedstock cost increases had been passed on to contractual customers, amounting to plus €30-35/tonne for NBA and €40-45/tonne for 2-EH.

The seller said the majority of buyers on the spot market had accepted the hikes as well, and indicated that its minimum price level is now €1,110/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for NBA and €1,430/tonne FD NWE for 2-EH.

A fifth producer indicated NBA spot prices at €1,080-1,090/tonne FD NWE and IBA spot prices at €980-990/tonne FD NWE.

A buyer said that its August contract prices for 2-EH and IBA had risen slightly on account of the higher propylene price, but emphasised that demand is flat. The 2-EH market is balanced while IBA is well-supplied, the buyer said.

Domestic spot prices were assessed by ICIS on Wednesday at €1,090-1,140/tonne FD NWE for NBA, €1,010-1,080/tonne FD NWE for IBA, and €1,400-1,460/tonne FD NWE for 2-EH.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214



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