European May acrylic acid (AA) contract prices have rolled over, amid unchanged market fundamentals, despite the €10/tonne increase in the May feedstock propylene contract price, sources said on 21 May.
Contract prices are at €1,880-1,910/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). While the feedstock propylene contract price in May saw a small increase, sources said the hike had not impacted pricing in the AA sector as supply and demand are balanced and steady.
The outlook for June is stable. Some sources said that if the propylene price moves up in June that might put pressure on AA prices to increase, while buyers indicate that if the market weakens on lengthier availability, prices could decrease.
One producer said: “The prices are not going down that’s for sure, some are moving up, some are rolling over…it’s a bit stagnant. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the second half of the year and going into June. There has been no major lifting off of demand and it is going on at the same reasonable level of April.”
The producer added: “The margins are not very exciting. Any chance to move up it has to be done. Sometimes it’s not possible.”
One buyer said: “Acrylate esters are really stable. No production issues reported so far and everybody is well supplied. Should the market get any longer, I would rather expect a decrease than a rollover for May to June 2014.”
The source added that in the upstream oxo-alcohols market, prices are at a similar level to those seen one year ago.
AA is used in the manufacture of super absorbent polymers (SAP).