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 Q3 2014
European maleic anhydride (MA) availability has been sporadically limited in the third quarter of 2014.
This was due to two of the producers, MOL in Hungary and Polynt in Italy, going through extensive turnarounds in August, with both of them restarting their plants with some delays.
Contract prices went up on the low end in Q3 mostly on the back of the two turnarounds. Prices were assessed at €1,790-1,850/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
Separately, in September Bosnian producer Koksna declared force majeure, according to an email that ICIS has seen. Koksna could not be reached for a comment.
Imports from North America were also said to be limited as a result of tightness in the US market.
However, limited supply was balanced by quiet demand in August and a slow pick-up in September, which has kept spot prices stable throughout Q3.
According to some buyers, the production disruptions above have not had much effect on availability in northwest Europe.
Spot prices for liquid MA were assessed at €1,580-1,650/tonne and €1,780-1,820/tonne for flake in the week ending 27 June 2014.
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