LONDON (ICIS)--Prices in the European ethyl acetate (etac) market were assessed down by €10/tonne ($14/tonne) this week, as the winding down of business in the run-up to Christmas overrode the impact of a €30/tonne increase in the December ethylene contract price.
“Etac is still very long,” a northwest Europe producer said. “Frankly I see prices even below €800/tonne in Italy, and only slightly above in NWE [northwest Europe].”
A distributor said: “I don't see the tendency of steady [prices]. The target was to keep [prices] steady for December, but we did not succeed. I see €810-830/tonne FD [free delivered].”
Looking ahead to January, a price hike from European suppliers now seems doubtful.
“I don't expect [January] prices to increase, there’s too much material around,” a producer said.
One buyer also believes market conditions are long and do not support higher prices, while a second buyer says January may not be the right time for producers to try to increase prices as it takes a while for business to pick up after the holiday season.
A few weeks ago it was thought that European producers may raise etac prices in January to match the hikes expected by some importers of etac to Europe following an increase in European import duty from 1 January 2014.
($1 = €0.73)