Europe MPG prices edge down on low demand, increased availability

21 February 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON(ICIS)--European monopropylene glycol (MPG) industrial grade prices continued their downward price trajectory as weaker-than-expected de-icer demand increased availability and competition in the market, market sources said on Friday.

Producers were experiencing noticeably lower demand than they had forecast and this prompted some of them to revise pricing expectations while others are attempting to keep values stable.

One producer is keeping its prices as high as €1,260/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) but others have revised their ranges lower.

“We were bullish at the start of the month and [price increases] had traction,” the producer said.

“It lost steam mid-way and now it is flat. De-icer has been disappointing but I am still not willing to reduce prices because we took a hit on our margins in December and January [due to increases in the price of propylene].”

Prices were seen stable to slightly lower with prices quoted at €1,230/tonne FD NWE on the high end by a buyer, while a trader said it is selling at €1,190/tonne FD NWE or below in Germany.

There has been stronger than expected unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) demand as the milder weather has boosted construction activity, however it is unclear how this will affect the regular construction season and UPR buying which traditionally begins in spring.

The new range now stands at €1,190-1,250/tonne FD NWE.

March spot price expectations are dependent on the price of propylene which is largely expected to roll over but movements in either direction are also being considered.

By Stefan Naidu