European ethanolamines mixed picture for August contracts

20 August 2014 15:41 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamine producers and consumers present differing views on the success of price increases in August, sources said on Wednesday.

The attempted price increases come against the backdrop of European market leader BASF’s announcement in July stating they were increasing the price of monoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) by €40/tonne and diethanolamine (DEA) by €60/tonne.

“We stick to these agreements. We have announced price increases, there is no choice,” said a company source.

Other producers have also attempted to follow the price increases.

“We have already received these price increase. They are completed. Customers are buying still,” said another producer.

However, the price increases are by no means universal, with other producer saying they see no upward pressure.

“There is no particular change,” said a third producer.

In addition buyers and distributors seem to have fought hard against the increases.

“They are trying to increase but not able to increase prices… A supplier from Europe, who announced a price increase, has offered us product at a deep discount,” said a buyer.

“I do not expect a significant increase. They are asking. They will not get increases. The market is not strong enough, there is no reason to ask for an increase,” said a second buyer.

One distributor mentioned a waiting period until September, when all market participants would be back to the market to see whether any price increases would stick.

“There is almost no activity. From this week we should start hearing something from the customer,” said the distributor.

The distributor also mentioned that the very low prices seen over the summer may be disappearing bringing the market into a tighter pricing range.

“The lowest low price disappeared. It was clear this was going to happen. Nobody could support those prices,” said the distributor.

By Rhian O'Connor