LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamine producers and traders reported a tighter market on Wednesday, with a couple of producers said to be having logistics problems.
Sintez OKA, a Russian producer of ethanolamines, confirmed it was running at reduced operating rates due to shortages of raw materials.
“Yes we worked at reduced rates due to limited EO [ethylene oxide] supply. Almost everything is solved at the moment - from 6 Feb we plan everything will be ok with our ethanolamines production,” said a company representative.
An Asian producer was also reported to be running at reduced prouction, further limiting imports into Europe.
The limited supply means more demand on producers with one western European manufacturer now sold out.
“We are sold out for February... we satisfy our contractual obligations,” said the producer.
The more limited supply has given some producers hope that February pricing may rise.
“We keep prices firm and can increase here and there. We will sell at least roll-over and try to improve,” said the western European producer.
However, this is against a backdrop of still sluggish demand, falling raw material costs, and continued cheap imports.
“[There is] no sign of balanced, recovering market with regard to pricing”, said one major distributor.