Europe phthalic anhydride August contracts fall on OX decrease

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

LONDON (ICIS)--European phthalic anhydride (PA) contract prices for August were assessed by ICIS on Friday at a decrease of €10/tonne ($13/tonne), based on an equivalent decrease in the August orthoxylene (OX) contract price.

PA August contract prices were assessed at €1,252-1,302/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) for liquid and flake material.

The August OX contract price decreased by €10/tonne to €1,045/tonne FD NWE. The majority of European PA monthly contracts are formula-linked to the OX price movement.

Market participants confirmed that formula-based August contract prices had decreased in line with the August OX contract. One distributor suggested that freely negotiated contracts might roll over to allow producers to improve their margins, but this was not corroborated by other sources.

Spot prices were assessed at €1,360-1,400/tonne FD NWE for liquid tonnes and €1,250-1,320/tonne FD NWE for flake material.

One producer said it experienced some minor production problems at its plant last week, but these have since been resolved. The supplier said that demand is good for the time of year.

A second producer went further, describing demand as very good. The source attributed this to a combination of warmer weather and tighter supply, and indicated spot prices at around €1,300/tonne FD for flakes.

A reseller described a weak market with spot prices for flake material discussed in the low €1,200s/tonne FD.

A reseller that had heard PA flakes being offered in the low €1,300s/tonne last week said that price ideas have fallen back into the €1,200s/tonne. The source attributed this to seasonal weakness, saying it had received a large number of offers.

A distributor saw the market as tight, but said this was only a temporary situation, as the market is structurally oversupplied. The source said it had sold small quantities of liquid PA around €1,400/tonne FD and flakes around €1,350/tonne FD.

A reseller said it had sold PA flakes on the spot market this week at €1,190/tonne FD Slovenia.

Another reseller said it had been involved in trades last week at €1,200-1,220/tonne FD Poland/Czech Republic, but understood that flakes were obtainable at a price of €1,170/tonne FD. The source said that a producer in eastern Europe restarted its plant this week after a six-week outage.

One buyer said that demand was somewhat low, while another said the market had tightened on account of producers' maintenance work.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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