Europe EO August contracts increase from July

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

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethylene oxide (EO) August contract prices increased from July, in line with upstream ethylene, sources said on Friday.

August contract prices were assessed up €33 to €1,335-1,502/tonne ($1,757-1,976/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and €1,390-1,547/tonne FD Med (Mediterranean).

The price represents 82% of the upstream July ethylene contract plus an "adder".

The overwhelming majority of EO contracts are formula-based, and any price movement tend to comprise 80-85% of the change in the ethylene price, with 82% taken as an average for assessment purposes.

The spate of shutdowns as well as good captive demand have encouraged producers to fill their systems. External demand is relatively good and balanced with supply, sources said.

"I was expecting prices to go up a bit especially now that the market is coming back after the holidays, and I also expect a slight increase in September [ethylene]. … I would also expect that due to the maintenance shutdowns in the coming months there will be a certain impact on prices and they will go up," a buyer said.

For the first time this year, there are signs of a slowdown in the surfactant sector, which have brought demand back to normal levels, according to a seller.

"Surfactants were quite strong. They are back to normal levels now," according to a producer.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Caroline Murray
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