European Feb ECH range widens at upper end

11 February 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--The upper end of the European epichlorohydrin (ECH) contract price increased in February while the lower end rolled over, following the commitment by one producer to raise prices sharply in the face of rising feedstock costs and weak fundamentals that have eroded margins.

The supplier indicated that, as expected, its planned price hike led to a loss of volume in the month as buyers shopped around. The producer noted that it had initially targeted a €100/tonne increase for February, but generally settled at an increase of €90/tonne.

Other ECH producers said that the majority of their February contracts rolled over from January prices, reflecting an oversupplied market, flat feedstock propylene costs, stiff competition between other suppliers and off-peak demand.

A buyer confirmed that depending on supplier and starting price, February contracts settled between rollovers and increases and said that it is paying between €1,600-1,680/tonne.

It added that some producers are potentially looking to further raise prices in March, but noted that it is one thing to raise prices but quite another to actually get orders.

By Iain Packham