European ethanolamines March contract prices rise

19 March 2014 16:43 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European ethanolamines market participants stated on Wednesday that they saw March contract price increases.

The price increases come against a backdrop of healthy demand and some limitations of supply, with imports in particular more limited than they have been historically.

“[We are seeing] healthy demand. Contract and spot are very strong,” said one producer.

“Ethanolamines [are] seeing quite nice development – [there is a] tendency to increase pricing,” said one distributor.

Diethanolamines (DEA) remain the tightest grade with price increases here of up to €50/tonne FD. For monoethanolamines (MEA) the increases have been less.

For triethanolamines (TEA) prices have been more stable, especially for higher quality product. The lower quality grades, which are in short supply thanks to more limited Russian imports, have seen some upward movement.

“For TEA, what we call coca-cola product, with its brownish colour, usually goes into the construction and cement market – this was dominated by Sintez,” explained one importer.

There are differences in price trends through Europe, with southern Europe said to be more relaxed on pricing thanks to competition between European producers and Thai imports.

“Southern Europe prices tend to be lower. In Italy [it's been the] trend [for a] long time. Exotic imports are able to come in,” said the producer.

Imports from the US continue to more limited than they have been historically thanks to increased demand in domestic markets.

Asian imports are still relatively limited too, despite strong price differentials. As one buyer explained, “China is a pain in the neck – you have all the taxes; not all [product is] REACH qualified.”

By Rhian O'Connor