LONDON (ICIS)--European acetic acid monthly contract prices have fallen in September, the first in over a year, market sources confirmed.
While demand is essentially unchanged, supply has eased substantially as plants worldwide went back on-line during the summer, and the supply chain gradually filled up following a period of almost unprecedented shortness.
The average decline is assessed at minus €40/tonne, a relatively modest fall, set against the considerable rise seen over many months. This takes contract values to an estimated €835-860/tonne FD (free delivered) before discounts.
In the next few weeks, players will commence the process of negotiating fourth-quarter contracts and deciding on the appropriate level for prices in the final three months of the year.
This is likely to prove a more contentious debate than the monthly contract in September, which still reflects to a certain extent an overhang from the time when the so-called pipeline was dry.
No such conditions are expected to prevail now, and larger buyers are expected to press for significant price drops.