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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 2016
The European maleic anhydride (MA) Q3 contract price was agreed at a rollover for most sources by the third week in July.
Although some producers aimed for a slight increase on the back of squeezed margins, the market demand/supply conditions were unable to support the move. This left the contract price in the range of €1,430-1,480/tonne FD (free delivered) northwest Europe (NWE) on a pre-discounted basis.
In the second half of July and through August, the market was quiet during the traditional summer lull, but in most cases, prices were stable. Spot liquid material softened €20/tonne at the higher end, resulting in a consolidated range of €960-1,000/tonne FD NWE. Flake material held steady at an assessed range of €1,060-1,100/tonne FD NWE.
In September, sources turned their attentions towards the Q4 discussion, which were not expected to get underway until the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) annual meeting at the start of October. Producers were already talking about the need to recover margins, but no specific targets were revealed.
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