LONDON (ICIS)--European plasticizers have started April on a healthier note demand wise and spot prices are firming.
There has been a good level of orders in the early days of April, with some sellers stating material is now sold out for the month.
An element of this is buyers preparing ahead of the Easter break in the week commencing on 15 April, when some of them are set to close downstream units for up to a week.
Rising feedstock costs and, in some cases some small supply constraints due to upstream limitations, rather than any technical issues at sites, have also pushed prices up.
Most buyers have been offered higher prices in April for diisononyl phthalate (DINP), dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) and di-propyl heptyl phthalate (DPHP).
The second quarter is typically the peak demand period for plasticizers and demand has started healthy in April and for most sources agreed it is stronger than March.
"There are more requests that we can support,” one DOTP seller said.
“The market is finally moving,” another supplier said, after stating how prices in the first quarter stood flat or softer, at the beginning of the year.
“We already got some enquiries for May. Perhaps due to Easter, some close [of downstream units] and [the buyers] want May prices by 19 April,” a source said.
“Our consumption will be stronger this month, even with Easter,” one buyer said.
It remains to be seen if this trend will continue in April. So far, there have been spot prices increases of around €10-20/tonne for DINP and DOTP, but prices could increase further later in the month.
Plasticizers are used in plastics or other materials to impart viscosity, flexibility, softness, or other properties to the finished product.
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