European suppliers hope to maintain IPA price

01 September 2014 17:18 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European isopropanol (IPA) has not yet been affected by the decrease in the feedstock propylene contract price for September, with suppliers hoping to maintain prices at current levels, market sources said on Monday.

Last week the propylene contract price was fully confirmed at €1,105/tonne, down €50/tonne from August, on the back of ample supply and softer feedstock prices.

However, the majority of players said it was too early for the drop in feedstock costs to begin having an impact on propylene, and some suppliers are aiming to keep prices at similar levels in order to improve margins.

They pointed out that the market has become tighter and demand is beginning to pick up, due in part to higher seasonal usage of IPA.

One producer said: “Feedstock has come off but we will be targeting a rollover to increase profitability… Hopefully next week we’ll have the first indications for September.”

August is traditionally a weak month for isopropanol due to many players being away over the holiday season, with sales increasing once this period is over.

A distributor said: “It [the feedstock decrease] has not filtered down to the market yet. A rollover wouldn’t surprise me… I think September is generally a good demand month, people are coming back from their holidays.”

It added: “It [the market] can’t be quiet forever, it has to restart some time and September is a classic month for that.”

Another producer said: “I don’t think the price will go down- [the] market will be fairly tight, and demand seems high…we have some orders at the same pricing levels [as the previous week].”

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By Chris Barker