Europe PGE producers struggle to increase January prices

10 January 2014 17:27  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European propylene glycol ether (PGE) prices have rolled over from last week because of subdued buying activity and cheaper December material still available in the market, sources said on Friday.

Producers have not been able to pass on increases this week because buyers have access to cheaper December material still present in the market.

A buyer said its prices where the same as last week and thinks producers will struggle to pass on increases this month because of a combination of slower seasonal demand from the paints and coatings market and a shorter working month due to Christmas and public holidays in parts of Europe at the beginning of the month.

“Basically I see prices from December to January as a rollover,” the buyer said.

A second buyer returning to the market this week said it is only starting is negotiations next week, when it expects a much clearer picture of prices to emerge.

Producers expect to see prices for methoxy propanol (PM) and methoxy propanol acetate (PMA) rise in January following the €20/tonne increase in propylene and the quarterly methanol contract price settling up €37/tonne, and are targeting increases of €20-30/tonne for PM and PMA spot prices.

“We try to increase prices by €20-30/tonne, but the question is whether customer will accept,” a producer said.

One producer said it had seen increases of €15/tonne above the high end of the ICIS range, explaining “propylene went up and methanol spiked so there is bullishness for solvents,” but there was no confirmation from the buy side to support a rise this week.

By: Matt Tudball
+44 208 652 3214

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