LONDON (ICIS)--European mid-cut fatty alcohol prices for the first quarter have increased from fourth-quarter levels, sources said on Wednesday.
First-quarter contracts settled at €1,380-1,475/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), an increase of €130/tonne on the low side and €75/tonne on the high side.
Discussions had previously stalled with buyers and sellers unable to agree on an acceptable price for mid-cut material.
Many buyers had hoped for a decline in prices, with anticipation of extra material being made available from Willmar’s new plant in Rotterdam.
However, the plant continues to face delays in its start up and is yet to start running at full capacity.
A source at the company said this week that the plant is in the commissioning stage and was hopeful that they should be able to offer product within this quarter.
The plant was previously expected to be running by the beginning of the fourth quarter 2013, but was hit with unforeseen delays in its completion.
Some buyers continue to hold back from making purchases for the entire quarter, opting instead to buy on a hand-to-mouth basis.
However, with feedstock palm kernel oil prices remaining at high levels and supplies starting to be squeezed, many sources expect producers to now increase offers of fatty alcohols in the spot market.
One said it would now likely “offer close to €1,500/tonne FD NWE.”