Europe Q2 MA contract prices settle steady to firm

02 May 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Second-quarter European maleic anhydride (MA) contract prices have rolled over and increased from the first quarter, depending on starting point, sources said on Friday.

Prices are assessed at €1,770-1,850/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Suppliers said prices had increased on tighter supply mostly as a result of a planned shutdown at a central European producer in the second half of May.

Sources said the turnaround could potentially last three weeks which was said to be limiting spot availability already.

Other reasons quoted for tighter supply included a notable lack of imports from the US, higher costs of Asian feedstock benzene and good orders for downstream unsaturated polyester resin (UPR).

Prices were agreed in a wide range but the above published range is deemed most representative.

One trader said: “Producers say that the market is tight, but our customers are very relaxed, demand is not bad but it is not extraordinarily high either. Now that the high season is approaching, we hope to see more activity.”

A couple of buyers said they are still negotiating their contracts.

Some buyers said suppliers were trying to negotiate higher prices, but referred to the increases as unjustified. They supported their position with good availability of the product and decreasing n-butane prices.

By Yana Palagacheva