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Weak demand for polyether polyols in the Middle East exerted downward pressure on polyol prices for a large part of the fourth quarter of 2012. Market sources attributed the weak demand to the ongoing economic uncertainty, which has weakened the demand for consumer products. Prices fell to a low of $1,800-1,850/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)/Middle East and $1,650-1,700/tonne CFR GCC/Middle East in early December for flexible slabstocks and rigid foam, respectively.
However, firming feedstock propylene oxide (PO) costs left suppliers with little choice but to implement price hikes in January, as they struggled with squeezed margins. For the week ended 14 February, flexible slabstocks prices were at $2,050-2,150/tonne CFR GCC/Middle East, while rigid foam prices were at $1,750-1,850/tonne CFR GCC/Middle East.
Going forward, some suppliers were said to be mulling the possibility of further price hikes. Nonetheless, buyers and end-users felt that this cost-driven increase in polyol prices is not sustainable given that demand is still fundamentally weak.
Updated to mid-February 2013
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Polyols.
We offer unbiased and independent price reporting, with our price assessments being widely quoted as benchmarks in contracts.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments, giving you a robust reference for your negotiations.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Polyols. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Polyols, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.