Europe November BPA contract prices moves down €40/tonne

08 November 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European November bisphenol A (BPA) contract prices have moved down by €40/tonne ($54/tonne) reflecting falls in the value of feedstock phenol and acetone, sources said on Friday.

Freely negotiated BPA contract prices were agreed at €1,360-1,460/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

The November phenol and acetone contract prices moved down by €78/tonne and €28/tonne respectively from October.

“The market is corresponding to the normal seasonality of BPA. We can't expect any increases - demand is slow and we can't support demand by decreasing prices,” said a producer.

“Therefore our approach is the same as the past months. It’s phenol and acetone - related to benzene  and propylene. Between €25-35/tonne - this would be the reduction for November,” the producer added.

The November benzene contract price moved down by €78/tonne, while the November propylene price moved down by €30/tonne.

On the buying side, BPA sources spoke of price decreases, largely because of falling feedstock costs and poor demand. Although some also added weakness in the spot market as another factor influencing the downward price trend.

“What we have seen is Asian prices dropping  $50-60/tonne which is down by €44/tonne, so that would be €40/tonne for Europe,” said a major buyer.

The buyer said European producers were “loath” to drop their prices, but were unable to move any material as a result. “We’re paying a lot less for Asian material,” the buyer added.

Another buyer said it has seen a reduction of €60/tonne for its November volumes compared to its October prices. “October to November were see minus €60/tonne for regular volumes,” the buyer said.

Although lower numbers were discussed across the market, a producer quoted November prices at €1,450-1,490/tonne for “mid-sized customers”. The producer added that it did not move prices at all accounts in November. “We’ve not moved prices where we have not had to - we say reductions of €10-20/tonne here and there."

“There is no more room [to move prices] - the price points simply don't work. We could meet the price points, but we would be moving for volumes for volumes,” the major producer added.

A second major producer said it was out of the merchant market and concentrating on internal use only.

“We’re not in the market for November - we are not supplying into the external market - so we are not offer,” the producer said.

The BPA market is been heavily impacted by new capacities coming on in Asia, as well as a drop in demand for BPA derivatives polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resins.

Both materials are used heavily in the construction and automotive industries, which in turn are determined by GDP.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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