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 Q4 2015
There was a lot of pressure on contract and spot prices of European maleic anhydride (MA) in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The MA Q4 contract price settled down by €120-130/tonne to €1,570-1,620/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on slow demand, imports pressure and feedstock price drops.
In Q4, the European market drew interest from Asian importers, which contributed to softening spot prices. Imports of liquid material in particular had not until recently been seen in the market.
Eastern European players were more aggressive, partly in response to more offers from Asia and their attempts to keep their market share. Suppliers from Korea, Taiwan and China are among those looking to enter the European market.
As of 14 December, spot prices were assessed at €1,100-1,200/tonne FD NWE for liquid and €1,250-1,350/tonne FD NWE for flake.
The market is long with demand not picking up as much as some suppliers were hoping in the second and third quarter.
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