LONDON (ICIS)--Fully-refined paraffin wax prices in Europe are stable and are expected to remain so for the remainder of December, before declining in January, sources said on Wednesday.
Demand is currently high, but supplies are more than adequate, and prices are under pressure when it comes to discussing January contracts.
Adding to this pressure is the fact that demand tends to ease off over Christmas, leading to likelihood of an oversupply building.
A consumer also noted competition with palm stearin was contributing to pressure the lower melting point fully-refined waxes. It said palm stearin prices were very competitive, at around €800/tonne ($1,096/tonne) FD NWE, and highly available.
Meanwhile in the semi-refined wax market, supplies on the Poland/Belarus border are long, due to the arrival of a number of delayed deliveries, as well as a reduction in consumption since November, according to a trader.
Corresponding with these weak market fundamentals, prices have eased.
Further pressure on CPT Poland/Belarus semi-refined wax prices is expected next year as a result of increased import duties to the EU. Semi-refined material is understood to be subject to 2.2% duty from the start of 2014. A trader said it expects producers to compensate for this by reducing prices in order to keep their product competitive.
($1 = €0.73)