Europe maleic anhydride Q3 contracts assessed stable to lower

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

LONDON (ICIS)--European liquid maleic anhydride (MA) Q3 contract prices were assessed by ICIS at a decrease of €30/tonne ($40/tonne) at the low end of the range on Friday.

Liquid MA Q3 contract prices were assessed at €1,700-1,800/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE).

The assessed range represents gross prices, with net prices being heard at significantly lower levels. As noted in the ICIS methodology for MA, average contract volumes in Europe for liquid product are 3,000-6,000 tonnes/year.

Contract price outcomes were heard in a wide range, including modest increases, rollovers and large decreases.

However, the majority of market participants indicated that they had concluded their contracts at either rollovers or moderate decreases, and this was reflected in the assessed price range. A few contracts remain under negotiation.

Producers said they had concluded their contracts at a mixture of rollovers and slight increases, while resellers generally indicated modest decreases.

Most buyers described rollovers and small decreases. Substantial price cuts were also heard, but these were mainly from large-volume buyers.

The spot market remained somewhat tight, partly on account of a planned turnaround that was understood to have begun this week at Polynt's 65,000 tonne/year Ravenna plant in Italy.

Spot prices were assessed at €1,480-1,560/tonne FD NWE for liquid tonnes and €1,700-1,780/tonne FD NWE for flake material.

One producer said that liquid MA is priced at €1,530-1,550/tonne FD in southern Europe and around €1,600/tonne FD NWE, although lower prices are also obtainable. The source said it is receiving requests for material from traders that it does not usually sell to.

A reseller described a quiet market with many players absent for the summer holiday. The source said spot prices are unchanged for liquid tonnes. A distributor indicated stable pricing with adequate supply in the market.

A second reseller said its monthly prices had rolled over into August in spite of some lack of availability. The source indicated a monthly price well below the assessed range for spot deliveries.

One buyer described a balanced market with steady demand, while another said that the market for liquid product has tightened on account of maintenance work.

An Italian buyer said its August prices increased by €20-30/tonne due to higher feedstock prices and a tighter market, which it attributed to Polynt's shutdown and unconfirmed issues at another producer.

The source said its prices are now at €1,460-1,480/tonne FD, but added that it expects prices to decline before too long, because underlying demand is not very strong.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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