Europe capro spreads against CX fall €77-90/tonne in three months

05 March 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The spread between European caprolactam (capro) and feedstock CX contract prices has decreased by €77-90/tonne since November, according to ICIS analysis on Wednesday.

Weak downstream demand and margins prevented feedstock cost rises from being passed through the polyamide chain.

Nylon 6 to capro to CX price spread (€/tonne)

 

Capro contract FD NWE

CX contract ex-works

Capro/CX spread

November

€1,828-1,855/tonne

€999/tonne

€829-856/tonne

December

€1,868-1,885/tonne

€1,108/tonne

€760-777/tonne

January

€1,913-1,917/tonne

€1,150/tonne

€763-767/tonne

February

€1,963-1,977/tonne

€1,211/tonne

€752-766/tonne

 

The European CX March contract fell following a €52/tonne drop in the March benzene contract price.

The CX monthly contract is a formula-based price comprising the quarterly-negotiated CX delta and the upstream monthly benzene contract price.

CX monthly contract settlement ex-works NWE (northwest Europe)

March

Feb

Jan

€1,159/tonne

€1,211/tonne

€1,150/tonne

The European benzene settlement for March was confirmed at €1,003/tonne, down €52/tonne from the previous month.

A decrease for March had been widely expected given current European spot levels, with softening US prices helping ease some of the bullishness seen since the start of the year.

However, with demand from the phenol sector improving and the spread of benzene over naphtha dropping to close to $400/tonne, many European players believed that this was the current floor for the market.

Players throughout the polyamide chain had been hoping for a significant reduction in the March benzene contract price to relieve feedstock cost pressures.

The majority of capro buyers and sellers are yet to set firm March contract price targets. Nevertheless, some producers said they will target price rises of €50/tonne because of the need to restore margins. Buyers, however, are aiming for a reduction of up to the full benzene reduction because of their own narrow profitability.

By Mark Victory