Price and market trends: European ethanolamine producers seek August price increases

09 August 2013 09:29  [Source: ICB]

European ethanolamine producers will be seeking increases in August on the back of higher feedstock ethylene costs and the need to recover and maintain some margin, producers said on 31 July.

"We will be going for the full ethylene increase in August, take it or leave it," said one major producer.

The August ethylene contract price increased by €40/tonne ($53/tonne) from the previous month.

A second ethanolamine ­producer said its margins on ethanolamines were so low it would be pushing for the full ethylene increase.

"Frankly speaking, it will go up by the full amount. It has to because margins are so thin they are non-existent," the producer said about its August price intentions.

European ethanolamine

The producer described its market position as "relaxed" since demand was "reasonably good" and it did not see much length in the European market.

"There's not really much talk of imports and it is looking a bit quieter. I am hearing [a named producer] is a bit short and domestic demand is reasonably good," the producer added.

In some sectors of the ethanolamines market, imports from the rest of the world have caused some price disruption in recent months. Indeed, monoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) prices moved down in July because of this.

However, these lower July prices were not recognised by all suppliers.

A major producer sold MEA at €1,600/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe, but other European producers quoted either side of €1,350/tonne as a market price.


Meanwhile, views on the amount of imports currently available in Europe are mixed.

Traders said imports from the rest of the world continue to cause price pressure, but producers say there are not that many imports being offered in the European market.

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.

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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