Europe oxo-alcohols March prices roll over on stable propylene

12 March 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Most European oxo-alcohols accounts saw little change in March prices following a rollover on the upstream propylene contract, participants in the market said on Wednesday.

However, there were indications of some price erosion on 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH). Demand continues to improve as a result of warmer weather.

Oxo-alcohols spot prices were assessed by ICIS on Wednesday at €1,100-1,160/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) for n-butanol (NBA), €1,000-1,060/tonne FD NWE for isobutanol (IBA) and €1,370-1,430/tonne FD NWE for 2-EH.

One producer said it had concluded a few deals at increases of €10-15/tonne for NBA, while other accounts were rolled over. The source said its 2-EH prices were mostly unchanged from February.

High season for the coatings industry is beginning, the producer noted, and this is boosting demand for NBA.

A second producer said its prices were stable for March on acceptable demand. NBA offtake is picking up in response to the mild weather, the source said, whereas 2-EH demand is less affected by seasonal changes. The producer observed that its 2-EH prices are in the high €1,300s/tonne FD.

A third producer indicated spot prices at €1,050-1,060/tonne FD NWE for NBA and €1,000-1,010/tonne FD NWE for IBA. This was down by €10/tonne from the previous week in the case of NBA. However, these price levels were well below those heard from other sources in recent weeks.

Sources had previously explained that poor Chinese demand for 2-EH was encouraging the diversion of Russian tonnes into the European spot market, putting domestic prices under pressure.

By Samuel Weatherlake