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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European maleic anhydride (MA) spot prices increased sharply in the second half of August on tightening supply caused by production problems at European plants. However, underlying demand from the downstream unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) sector remained poor on continuing macroeconomic problems in Europe.
Buyers emphasised that cheaper imports were available and the fourth quarter usually brings a seasonal fall in offtake, but the constrained availability nevertheless prompted substantial increases for Q4 contract prices.
Quarterly contracts were assessed by ICIS in a pre-discounted range of €1,700-1,800/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for the third quarter, rising by €50/tonne to €1,750-1,850/tonne for the fourth quarter. Larger and smaller increments were also heard.
Liquid MA spot prices increased from €1,480-1,560/tonne FD NWE in mid-August to €1,550-1,620/tonne FD NWE by early November. Spot prices for MA flakes increased from €1,700-1,780/tonne in mid-August to €1,740-1,780/tonne in early November.
Updated to mid-November 2013
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