Price and market trends: Melamine pricing ideas at odds for Europe Q3

27 June 2014 09:43 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Pricing ideas have continued to emerge in the European melamine market, with producers and buyers taking opposing views on the situation and the way prices will move for the third quarter, sources said on 18 June.

Demand was described by the majority as solid and as expected for the quarter, with the main point of disagreement being availability of material.

A couple of producers called the market balanced-and-stable overall. One expected to conclude negotiations at a rollover, while the other producer anticipates a rollover to a small double-digit increase.

One producer said it has seen fewer melamine imports than in the previous quarter, and that it expects producer maintenance in the third quarter to have an impact on the availability of material.

It said: “We’ve not seen any big decrease in spot prices [driven by imports] so far - there’s a bit more of a feeling that it will get [to be] more of a European game.”

“Demand has improved- for sure it is an even more balanced situation than a quarter ago, [and] absolutely not a long market,” it added.

Eurostat statistics show that imports of melamine to the EU in April fell by nearly 30% year on year.

Wavering market?
However, several buyers predicted price decreases of €30-60/tonne in the third quarter on the back of high availability in Europe.

One buyer said: “The market is really weak and availability is really high… I’m expecting a price decrease of €30-50/tonne.”

“The imports are not so frequent and the European producers have enough product to cover the request at the moment.”

One player expects slightly lower demand in the third quarter due to the European holiday season reducing orders.

Most players are still at the preliminary stages of negotiations, and more information is expected to be available later in the month.

By Chris Barker