Price and market trends: Europe IPA prices roll over amid some upward pressure

17 July 2014 18:14 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

European isopropanol (IPA) prices have rolled over from the previous week in a balanced-to-short market, with low availability and the recent feedstock propylene price hikes continuing to put some upward pressure on the product, market sources said on 8 July.

Prices are at €1,100-1,145/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for technical grade and €1,200-1,245/tonne FD NWE for cosmetic grade.

Several producers stated that they have recently increased their prices due the recent feedstock propylene monthly contract price, which went up by €15/tonne compared to the previous month.

One producer said: “The market is balanced, the sales are for us going according to plan, we’re on €1,120-1,145/tonne and the propylene price increase was made last week.”

There were rumours that a major producer is suffering from low availability due to production problems, although this could not be confirmed at the source.

However, prices from market participants this week mostly remained within the range quoted above, with one trader suggesting that the expected dip in summer demand is allowing buyers to successfully maintain prices at similar levels.

One buyer noted that it is seeing decreased demand for IPA for some applications due to more people in downstream markets moving to water-based paints. It also went against the market consensus by suggesting that there have been some price decreases.

It said: “The market effect of being long is [putting prices] down slightly by €10/tonne. Demand is very low.”

Prices as low as €1,080/tonne FD NWE (for contract material) were seen in the market, but could not be confirmed.

By Chris Barker