Ethanolamines spot market direction mixed: distributors

02 October 2013 14:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamines spot price ideas for October in the trade and distribution sector are mixed, with competitive offers from Asia causing some price disruption, market sources said on Wednesday.

“For DEA (diethanolamine) I guess it will be a little difficult to get material because AkzoNobel [has a] shutdown [at present]. Contracts are covered, but there is no spot available so at present I don't see big problems,” said a trader, however, the trader felt that MEA (monoethanolamine) prices were under pressure.

“I hear that it's rather more difficult for MEA because some people are disturbing the market, with really low prices even for drummed material. €1,300/tonne ($1,757/tonne) for drummed material is unbelievable,” the trader added.

In relation to TEA (triethanolamine) 99%, the trader quoted “slightly above”  €1,400/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Another trader of spot ethanolamines described its own demand as very poor.

“A little bit more Russian stuff has appeared – MEA is in the low €1,300s. [Named producer] seems to be pricing themselves out of the market,” the trader said.

Another buyer and seller of ethanolamines said that while it had not been that active recently it was “surprised” to see MEA offered at €1,380/tonne.

“I’ve not done any business, but I am surprised about MEA. I got a number at €1,380/tonne. In my mind I had €1,400/tonne. Demand is not spectacular and producers are making ethanolamines in balance,” the source said.

“Producers don’t move their prices - of course they don't like imports around. With ethylene coming off, I think producers will keep prices where they are, but if there is a lack of demand I think prices will come down,” the source added.

Although traders and distributors describe demand to be low and prices as remaining under pressure, particularly for MEA, a producer said its off-take had been “decent”.

“We had a decent off-take in terms of volumes. Not much of a change - prices were under pressure so we’re trying to hold up sales. MEA we did a couple of FCA (free carrier alongside) deals at €1,370-1380/tonne,” the producer said.

 ($1 = €0.74)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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