LONDON (ICIS)--The market position of European ethyl acetate producers and importers has reversed following the increase in import duty, a distributor said on Friday.
“The roles are reversed between [European] producers and importers,” the source said.
Until the duty increase on 1 January, many etac importers were selling at relatively low prices, below those of European producers.
The latter blamed importers for the inability to increase etac prices when feedstock costs rose. European producers’ margins suffered as a result.
Now, however, importers have been attempting to raise January etac prices to compensate for the duty increase.
Meanwhile, European producers have held prices steady from December.
“It’s the same sales prices, there’s no uptick,” the distributor said. “Importers are the ones who are mostly hurt [by stable etac prices in January]. They don't have the power to change things around. They're too insignifiant individually.”
“[A producer] is the [market price] driver,” another distributor said. “There might be some cheaper material around but this is not the main factor. Certain participants decided to keep levels [prices] stable rather than increase them.”
This source added that importers from India, Saudi Arabia and Brazil have had no option but to try to increase etac prices to offset the increase in European import duty.
However, the distributor said it has had no choice but to drop prices again in order to do business
A European producer said: “We're going to defend our position. We've got to move some kind of volumes. I'm not preopared to lose my market share.”