LONDON (ICIS)--European flexible polyols prices are set to be stable as demand seasonally slows down in the second quarter despite a €10/tonne rise in feedstock propylene (C3) prices, sources said Wednesday.
Producers and buyers alike said demand in April is showing signs of slowing down as the bedding and furniture season traditionally draws to a close at the end of the first quarter. Limited increases up to €10/tonne, in line with propylene, were also quoted but could not be widely confirmed.
“April demand [looks to be] lower than February and [the upcoming] Easter holidays will make it difficult as well,” a producer said. “Demand is not terrible [for April] but not enough to increase prices.”
The producer went on to say it will look to increase its prices to recover profit margins in the second quarter but this will depend on a mixture of demand levels and feedstock price movements in May and June.
The consensus in the market is that product remains readily available which also hampered any potential price increases.
Buyers noted the feedstock rise is not significant enough to move the market.
“[There was] no real change in [the] propylene cost in April and the market is quiet anyway,” a buyer said.
The ICIS flexible polyols range for March stands at €1,760-1,830/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) and April prices were largely quoted within the range. Prices were also quoted below the assessed range at €1,670-1,700/tonne FD NWE but could not be widely confirmed.