Europe April ECH price likely to rise on higher C3 feedstock cost

01 April 2014 18:42 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European epichlorohydrin (ECH) prices appear set to rise in April, at least tracking higher feedstock propylene costs, market sources said on Tuesday.

The European monthly propylene contract price for April was confirmed at €1,140/tonne, up by €10/tonne from March.

One European ECH producer said it only plans to pass on the higher feedstock costs to customers.

“We are pushing for, even though a small increase, the [propylene] cost equivalent in our April price. We’re not pushing any further in April,” it said.

It noted that cheap Asian imports have pulled European prices so low that it is posting a monthly gross loss. Nevertheless, signs of strengthening Asian prices, give the producer confidence to raise domestic European prices down the line.

“We’re getting tired of back and forth, so we’re going to wait for bigger jump, probably when the Asia price hike is confirmed,” it said.

Nevertheless, other sellers indicated that they will be seeking greater price increases in April, in light of improving  demand, as they seek to regain lost margin.

Buyers said that they are looking for rollovers, due to the long, oversupplied market.

“It seems that material is still long, prices are stable,” one buyer said.                    

By Iain Packham