Europe BPA spot prices fall on Asian import pressure

25 October 2013 14:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European bisphenol A (BPA) spot prices are at their lowest October level, largely as a result of cheap Asian imports being offered in already weak market conditions, sources said on Friday.

“Spot BPA is available from Korean importers at €1,350/tonne. What is in interesting is that even the Russians don't want to go with this number,” said a BPA trader.

“European producers would need to add €100/tonne [onto this price], because €1,350 is really low,” the trader added.

A second trader of BPA in Europe said: “Spot is really under pressure. One consumer said €1,200/tonne but I don't think this is the truth. For big consumers I would say €1,350-1,400/tonne. I would say €1,700/tonne for small customers.”

Demand continues to be weak and no improvement is expected soon because the peak consumption season from the downstream epoxy resins and polycarbonate (PC) sectors is over.

BPA producers have reduced output and are only selling contracted volumes, they say.

In relation to its market position, a producer said: “I am happy to be out of the market at this moment. We are using it [BPA] all for our own consumption and not selling big quantities.

“I heard €1,350/tonne [for spot]– it's the reality.”

The producer was hoping for a lower feedstock benzene contract price in November, which would enable European producers to compete against Asian imports.

“If the benzene price drops it will allow us to offer lower quotes,” the producer added.

Spot benzene is currently valued at $1,175-1,185/tonne CIF (cost insurance freight) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), which is a reduction of €73-80/tonne on the October benzene contract price.

($1 = €0.72)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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