29 August 2013 02:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Domestic ethanolamines prices in India have increased sharply in response to a tumbling rupee and tightening cargo availability of imported material, market participants said on Thursday.
In the local market, prices of monoethanolamines (MEA) surged to Indian rupees (Rs) 120-125/kg ($1.75-1.83/kg) EXWH (ex-warehouse) in the week ended 28 August, compared with Rs105-110/kg EXWH in the previous week, they added.
“The scarcity of material is driving up prices,” said one participant.
On the diethanolamines front, local prices rose to Rs103-108/kg EXWH over the same period, from Rs98-100/kg EXWH previously, market participants said.
Prices rose further as the US dollar rose against the rupee, they added.
Offers for both MEA and DEA were limited in the week, market participants said.
Offers for MEA of Middle Eastern origin stood at $1,500-1,525/tonne CIF India for September shipment in drummed packaging. The offers increased largely because higher demand in China was drawing the cargoes over, according to market participants.
Previously a sluggish market, MEA demand was now being bolstered by tight cargo availability from overseas suppliers.
Around two to three consignments of southeast Asian material, which were due to arrive in the first week of September, were already sold out. There were no offers for material hailing from the western markets.
As for DEA, offers for Middle Eastern material were heard at $1,450-1,500/tonne CIF India.
Compounding the tight supply situation, a major supplier to India will be conducting plant maintenance at its plant.
Malaysia’s PETRONAS Chemicals Group (PCG) will be taking its 75,000 tonne/year ethanolamines unit in Kerteh, Terengganu, off line on 1 September for maintenance.
The turnaround is expected to last until the end of October. The plant was restarted recently following the lifting of a force majeure in end-July.
($1 = Rs68.44)
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