European IPA prices rise on low availability

13 May 2014 19:11 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Prices of European isopropanol (IPA) have risen on the low end as the result of poor availability from producers and an increase in the feedstock propylene price earlier in the month, market sources said on Tuesday.

The range is now €1,090-1,140/tonne free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) for technical grade and €1,190-1,240/tonne FD NWE for cosmetic grade, up €10/tonne on the low end from the previous week.

The European May propylene contract was settled at €1,150/tonne FD NWE on 30 April, an increase of €10/tonne.

A number of market participants have noted that while demand is balanced, a major producer is currently undergoing maintenance, which has reduced availability on the spot market.

One producer said that it is selling product at €1,110+/tonne FD NWE.

It also noted: “Even distributors are paying us €1,110-1,130/tonne FD NWE depending on who/where  so they are clearly able to get €1,150+/tonne when they sell on.”

One trader said that demand for IPA is not currently particularly strong, without much change in downstream usage, but despite that prices at the bottom end of the range are disappearing as the result of low availability.

However one buyer, which purchases monthly, said: “Usage is steady and is not particularly high or low. We haven’t seen much movement in [contract] price last month.”

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By Chris Barker