30 October 2013 15:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European ethanolamines market is digesting the recent November ethylene contract settlement and considering what this will mean for November ethanolamines prices, sources said on Wednesday.
Speaking about November ethanolamines prices, a producer said: “What we are trying to do is a rollover. This is our first communication to our customers.
“We have our orders for November. The end of October demand was very good compared to the beginning of the month, but we will need to watch what will happen year end.”
Ethanolamines prices were stable moving from September to October despite ethylene moving down.
Producers were adamant about not reducing October prices because in previous months, when ethylene increased, ethanolamines prices remained static.
One distributor expected producers to adopt a similar stance in November since margins are already at a low level.
“Producers did not increase prices when C2 went up – they did not get an increase. So why bring it down? They will not lower their price.”
Looking back at October price developments, the distributor added: “Pricewise, everything is unchanged. There is a bit of [upward price] pressure – not much – on diethanolamines (DEA) because [named producer] is not supplying in November. Prices are not moving – prices are around normal.”
The distributor quoted €1,420/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for the bulk of its monoethanolamines (MEA) business.
A second distributor did, however, see some downward price pressure moving into November.
“I learnt there were imports around at low numbers on MEA. I didn’t see much difference in September to October, but because of the downward trend on feedstock, prices will be lower.
“ I assume anything from €10-40/tonne would be possible. I hope the quietness of the holidays does not start too soon.”
A third source buying and selling ethanolamines in Europe also thought that prices would come down in November because of cheap imports from Asia.
“October to November – prices will have to come down. Our prices did come down in October because of Asian material and we are booking lower prices for November,” the trader said.
“I’m not clear what the market will be. MEA, I think €1,340/tonne FCA [free carrier alongside]. For triethanolamines [TEA], I don't have any feeling. December we will keep stocks low – not much will move at all – demand will not be that big,” 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)
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