Europe January PA contracts unchanged on stable OX

10 January 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European phthalic anhydride (PA) January contract prices were assessed by ICIS on Friday at a rollover, based on the rollover in the January orthoxylene (OX) contract price.

January PA contract prices were assessed at €1,212-1,262/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for liquid and flake material.

The vast majority of PA monthly contracts are formula-linked to OX price movement. Conversion fees for 2014 PA contracts were increased by up to €50/tonne in some cases, but many accounts saw no change from 2013.

Buyers are rebuilding their inventories following the seasonal holiday, but the spot market for flakes remains well-supplied.

One producer said demand is somewhat weak, particularly in the resins sector, where peak season begins in March. Meanwhile, the plasticizers sector is running well, the source said.

Another producer said that its annual conversion fees had been under pressure from excess supply in the market, but it had been able to achieve some increases for 2014.

A reseller said that its suppliers had tried to raise their fees but had quickly rescinded the increases. The source added that it was considering the option of buying Asian imports.

A UK reseller said that it had heard spot prices for flakes around €1,230/tonne FD. Another reseller indicated spot prices at €1,220-1,225/tonne FD UK.

A central European producer said that it had received spot enquiries for flakes below €1,100/tonne FD, which it considered unacceptably low. One reseller said that PA is on offer in southern and eastern Europe below €1,090-1,120/tonne FD.

Another reseller said that it had purchased a 300-tonne parcel at €1,030/tonne FCA (free carrier) central Europe and had sold a small volume at €1,100/tonne FD central Europe.

The source said that it could deliver 1,000 tonnes of PA at a price of €1,150/tonne FD to any destination in Europe.

By Samuel Weatherlake