India ethanolamines to spiral down on oversupply, poor demand

29 May 2014 04:28 Source:ICIS News

Focus story by Felicia Loo

Ethanolamines have applications in agrochemicals.SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s ethanolamines prices may continue falling as bloated stockpiles and poor demand are prompting producers to cut their selling indications, market participants said on Thursday.

Monoethanolamines (MEA) and diethanolamines (DEA) prices in the country fell at the high end of the range during the week ended 28 May,  according to ICIS data.

MEA tumbled by $120/tonne at the upper end of the price range to $1,400-1,430/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) India, while DEA prices shed $80/tonne at the high end to $1,400-1,500/tonne CIF India.

“The market is very weak. There is too much supply and too little demand. Prices are falling sharply,” said one market participant.

Domestic prices of ethanolamines in India are also heading southwards, indicating a bearish market.

MEA discussions in the local market largely weakened to Indian rupees (Rs) 93-96/kg ($1,578-1,629/tonne) EXWH (ex-warehouse) during the week ended 28 May, compared with Rs93-99/kg EXWH in the previous reporting week.

Domestic DEA prices also edged down to Rs98-101/kg EXWH from Rs98-102/kg EXWH over the same period.

Poor demand prevailed after India’s general elections, which ended mid-May, because of excess supply built from hefty imports in the previous month.

India received about 1,500 tonnes of Middle Eastern DEA, as well as 700-800 tonnes of Middle Eastern MEA in April.

Ethanolamines have applications in agrochemicals, surfactants, personal care and construction. MEA is produced by reacting ethylene oxide (EO) with ammonia.

Market participants expect prices to fall further as the monsoon season, which begins from June to September, will curb agrochemical consumption.

Selling indications of Middle East-origin MEA in drummed packaging were at $1,400/tonne CIF India, while western drummed MEA were quoted at $1,430/tonne levels.

On the DEA front, offers of Middle Eastern drummed material stood at $1,400/tonne CIF India, with selling indications of western material stood at $1,420-1,500/tonne CIF India.

A few producers are limiting their offers in India due to the low-priced environment, opting to assess the market situation before committing to any concrete selling ideas, market participants said.

($1 = Rs58.94)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By Felicia Loo