Maleic anhydride Prices, markets & analysis
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Maleic anhydride Europe Transcript
Maleic anhydride or MA has two feedstocks n-butane and benzene. In Europe plants are predominantly based on n-butane, but outside of Europe, the main feedstock is benzene.
MA is used in a wide variety of applications, but its major use is in the unsaturated polyester resins market. That accounts for over 50% of all MA usage. UPRs are use in construction, automotive and marine applications.
The key price drivers for MA are supply and demand and feedstock costs.
Maleic anhydride is imported but not in large quantities. Solid imports from Asia are the most common. Liquid imports are rare, because solid temperature controls make shipping logistically difficult. However, some liquid material does enter the European market from America.
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Updated to Q1 2015
European maleic anhydride (MA) producers were aiming for increases of up to €50/tonne on their spot prices in March 2015.
However, they were largely unsuccessful with that target due to available cheaper local and imported material.
MA flake availability has started tightening in Q1 due to falling imports and a limited number of local producers offering solid material.
Producers’ efforts to increase prices continue, but some sources said the market has been driven down a lot and it will take some time for it to recover.
The first-quarter MA contract was assessed at €1,650-1,700/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), a drop of €120/tonne on the fourth-quarter price.
MA spot prices dropped by €150/tonne from October 2014 to January 2015.
Due to the volatility of the upstream market prices at the end of last year, a few players switched to monthly MA contracts as opposed to quarterly.
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