Europe ethanolamines prices hold steady in October

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

LONDON (ICIS)--European October ethanolamine prices are holding steady from September into October despite a dip in the value of major feedstock ethylene, sources said on Wednesday.

Monoethanolamine (MEA) prices are quoted at €1,450-1,500/tonne ($1,986-2,055/tonne), triethanolamine (TEA) remains steady at €1,490-1,560/tonne, with diethanolamine (DEA) also unchanged at €1,150-1,200/tonne.

All quotes are on an FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) basis.

Producers were adamant about not reducing prices in October following a €35/tonne fall in this month's ethylene contract price.

“When ethylene increased nobody was willing to pay more, now ethylene has decreased and they all want a decrease. Producers won’t come down,” a producer said in relation to its price intentions for October contracts.

Another supplier of all three grades to the European market said it rolled over its MEA and TEA prices, but increased its DEA price by €10/tonne.

Regarding its position in the DEA market, the seller said: “Monsanto is buying everything. The upward trend for DEA is not just a story - it's really sustainable. The US DEA market is really tight.”

In relation to its demand for TEA, the seller spoke of strong demand coming from the downstream wood treatment sector.

In the trader and distribution markets, sources also experienced limited prices changes moving from September into October, although lower numbers continue to be quoted for imported material.

“The market is the same - it's relatively flat. Going into November we see a little pressure coming from feedstocks again," one trader said.

“It’s definitely softer. Demand is weak and you are fishing for every account possible. It does not matter if they are a small customer or big MEA or TEA customer, there is availabilty everywhere even after shutdowns in quarter three and quarter four,” it added.

The trader quoted MEA at €1,350-1,390/tonne and TEA at €1,380-1,420/tonne. It also valued DEA in the ICIS range.

Assessments of the market from major TEA buyers for the esterquats sector was largely unchanged from the third to fourth quarter.

“From a demand point, it’s almost normal - no major reduction or increase," a major buyer said

“If you compare [demand] with last year - demand is comparable but it was at a lower level last year and material is available,” it added.

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.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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