LONDON (ICIS)--European third-quarter sulphur contracts have settled at a rollover amid balanced market fundamentals, sources confirmed on Thursday.
The third-quarter contract price in Europe was settled at $159-170/tonne delivered Benelux, a rollover from the second quarter.
“We have concluded with our suppliers at a rollover. With two of our suppliers it was quite straightforward, but with another discussions dragged on," said a large sulphur buyer for the caprolactam market.
A second sulphur buyer, also producing caprolactam, said that it had also agreed rollovers at all of its third-quarter contracts.
“I concluded large and small contracts – all at a rollover. There are even some parties that were willing to roll over for the rest of the year,” the buyer said.
A producer supplying the European sulphur market also confirmed that in most instances contracts were agreed at the same levels as the second quarter. It also said that some increases were agreed.
“We wanted to increase by $10-20/tonne and we got this at some accounts, but we also settled at rollovers," the producer said.
The European sulphur market acts rather independently from the rest of the world, since it is liquid- rather than solid-based. Therefore external international factors, such as price developments in key regions such as the Middle East and China, tend to have little influence in Europe during the negotiation process.
“So, prices are starting to firm in China and Middle East producers are increasing [their prices] but this has nothing to do with Europe, we don’t buy from the Arab Gulf, so why should we pay a higher price,” said a third buyer.