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 2015
European maleic anhydride (MA) demand did not pick up as much as hoped by some sellers.
The Q3 contract price saw slight increases of €10-20/tonne but the sentiment changed later in the quarter with spot prices dropping. Pressure came from good supply, competitively priced Asian and eastern European material as well as low feedstock prices.
As of 28 September, spot prices were assessed at €1,330-1,430/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for liquid and €1,530-1,630/tonne FD NWE for flake.
Naphtha, which is largely considered a good indicator for the direction of the price of MA feedstock n-butane, saw considerable drops in the last few months.
A lengthy market, with producers back from their summer maintenance shutdowns, as well as aggressive offers from suppliers based in Asia and eastern Europe added to the weaker sentiment.
EU imports decreased by 17% in July 2015 year on year, according to statistics agency Eurostat, while exports went up by 13% over the same period.
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