Europe MA Q3 contracts settle steady to firm

25 July 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

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

Prices are assessed at €1,790-1,850/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Negotiations were tough, with a big gap between producers’ and buyers’ expectations.

Initially, producers were pushing for increases of around €50/tonne, with one producer even hoping for a 10% increase.

Buyers, on the other hand, were mostly looking to sign their contracts at rollovers or slight decreases.

Outcomes reported varied between rollover and increases of around €40-50/tonne.

Increases were said to be more towards the low end of the range.

Prices increased mostly on the back of two producers going through extensive turnarounds in August, limited imports of US material and increasing raw material prices, including crude oil, naphtha, butane and benzene.

Some buyers vocally disagreed with the proposed price hikes, saying that Q3 is the quietest quarter and increases at this point of the year are unusual for the market.

However, producers maintained that Q3 demand will remain strong, while supply will be tight.

Based on feedback, negotiations largely resulted in agreeing smaller increases as a compromise.

By Yana Palagacheva