Europe phthalic anhydride October contracts fall on OX decrease

18 October 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European phthalic anhydride (PA) contract prices for October were assessed by ICIS on Friday at a decrease of €10/tonne ($14/tonne), based on an equivalent decrease in the October orthoxylene (OX) contract price.

PA October contract prices were assessed at €1,247-1,297/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) for liquid and flake material.

The October OX contract price decreased by €10/tonne to €1,040/tonne FD NWE. The vast majority of PA monthly contracts are formula-linked to OX, and there was no indication that outcomes differed this month for freely negotiated contract prices.
Spot prices were assessed on Friday at €1,350-1,390/tonne FD NWE for liquid tonnes and €1,210-1,280/tonne FD NWE for flake material.

Sources said that market fundamentals were stable, with producers operating their plants at maximum rates.

One seller described demand as normal and adequate. Spot prices for flakes continued to be heard mostly in the mid-to-high €1,200s/tonne FD NWE.

A UK reseller said that demand is static and depressed, with spot prices for flakes discussed around €1,285/tonne FD.

A reseller in central Europe said that supply is long, with prices for delivery into the UK having been quoted recently in the mid-€1,200s/tonne FD. A reseller in southern Europe said the market is very flat.

In contrast, a reseller based in eastern Europe said that spot prices in the region are very low, and a deal for 150 tonnes had been concluded this week at €1,095/tonne FD central Europe.

The source said it is able to offer 2,000 tonnes of flakes delivered to any location in Europe at a price equivalent to OX contract level plus €95/tonne, or €1,135/tonne FD.

Another reseller described low demand and good supply. The source noted that Russian material is available and is undermining prices, which it said are now below €1,200/tonne FD NWE for flakes.

A buyer said that the market is well-supplied, and it has begun its negotiations for 2014. While the expected withdrawal of Arkema from the market early next year has not prompted other sellers to increase their tolling fees, the source said, it acknowledged that it would have to find alternative suppliers for a substantial volume.

A second buyer emphasised that there is no shortage of PA production capacity in Europe.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214

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