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 Q2 2015
The European maleic anhydride (MA) market has been more quiet than usual in a traditionally strong second quarter (Q2).
The slowdown could be partly attributed to a less profitable downstream unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) sector which has seen substantial price hikes in other feedstock styrene.
As a result of poor demand producers largely failed to meet their Q2 targets and the contract price only increased by €30/tonne.
The MA Q2 contract price was assessed at €1,680-1,730/tonne FD (free delivered) northwest Europe (NWE).
Supply has been limited by the weak and volatile euro against the US dollar, keeping US and Asian imports on the low side, as well as one European producer conducting a three-week turnaround in June, with a second one planning a turnaround in August.
Spot prices remained largely stable too with only limited upwards movements.
In the last week of June, spot prices were assessed at €1,500-1,550/tonne for liquid and €1,700-1,750/tonne for flake.
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