LONDON (ICIS)--European methylene chloride spot sentiment remains steady this week, underpinned by generally healthy domestic demand and sufficient supply, market players said on Tuesday.
Sources said that solid demand domestically and balanced supply is supporting general price stability.
Prices continued to be talked within the existing range of €550-600/tonne FD (free delivered), which remained valid for northwest Europe and the Mediterranean this week.
Some players pinpointed export activity as faring particularly well, which they attributed to reduced availability from China.
Export prices ex-Europe are stable to firmer as a result, depending on source.
Players continue to closely monitor upstream methanol spot developments, following recent firming there. Sources said they do not see any real immediate effect of methanol spot firming on methylene chloride because they mainly have upstream methanol contracts in place for the quarter.
However, they are keen to see whether the upward tendency in methanol spot will continue, which could in turn have a bearing on the upstream methanol contract in the first quarter as this would have a cost implication for methylene chloride producers.
Methylene chloride is used as a solvent for many chemical processes. It is also used as a paint stripper and metal cleaning and finishing, with other applications in aerosol propellants, foam blowing, extraction medium in food processes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.