Europe Q4 acetic acid contract prices agreed at modest increase

20 December 2013 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetic acid fourth-quarter contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday at €450-530/tonne ($616-726/tonne), representing a €5/tonne increase from the third quarter.

The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

Although the year has nearly ended, not all contracts have yet been settled. Among the majority that have been finalised, some prices have remained at their third-quarter level, while others edged up by a comparatively modest €10/tonne.

The closure of INEOS’s 300,000 tonne/year vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in Hull in the UK, which took effect at the beginning of October, might have been expected to release a substantial quantity of acetic acid that would previously have been consumed at the plant.

However, the acetic acid market does not appear to have become significantly longer as a result of that change. Consequently, prices have not come under significant downward pressure.

Looking ahead, many players anticipate an imminent upturn in acetic acid values. They say recent tightening in the methanol market, and a steep rise in the cost of the feedstock, will soon be translated into higher prices downstream.

($1 = €0.73)

By Peter Gerrard