28 March 2014 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON(ICIS)--European monopropylene glycol (MPG) prices fell by €10/tonne as excess supply is putting downward pressure on prices despite relatively healthy seasonal unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) demand, market sources said Friday.
Producers said prices have reached minimum levels but quoted numbers below the high end of last week’s assessed range.
“I believe we have hit the bottom [with prices] but we are not at the point of increasing [yet],” a producer said. “I am bullish… Demand looks robust for April.”
UPR demand traditionally begins in April but several participants are already seeing initial ordering, however a buyer does not believe this will be enough to raise prices in April.
“I do not see demand picking up in April [compared to March] because of the Easter holidays,” the buyer said.
A mixed outlook for prices was seen looking forward into April.
A second buyer said there remains enough product in the market and does not believe the propylene settlement, which was confirmed at a €10/tonne increase on Friday, will have a significant impact downstream with MPG.
The producer, however, said the upstream propylene and propylene oxide (PO) markets are very tight and further increases could lead to downstream price increases for the purposes of margin recovery.
Prices were even quoted below the assessed range on the low end, down to €1,150/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), but prices this low could not be widely confirmed. This week, prices were assessed at €1,180-1,230/tonne FD NWE.
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