Price and market trends: Europe ethanolamines stable to firm

08 September 2016 23:10 Source:ICIS Chemical Business


European August ethanolamine contract prices were agreed with rollovers for mono-ethanolamines (MEA) and di-ethanolamines (DEA) and a mix of rollovers and slight price rises for tri-ethanolamines (TEA 99%), despite the slight relief in upstream August ethylene contract costs. This comes amid balanced market conditions, market players said on 31 August.

Producers said they were unable to pass on higher upstream ethylene contract costs in previous months and therefore were not prepared to pass on any slight upstream cost relief in August.

In addition, demand in August has been either reasonable for the time of year or slightly better than expected in some cases, which also helped to support at least price stability in August.

Regular monthly MEA prices were largely agreed stable in August, on underlying need for margin recovery, reduced import availability from certain sources, and a domestic plant maintenance turnaround during August.

Some price softening for MEA was also heard in a few cases in August, but it was not seen to reflect the general market trend for regular monthly business in August.

MEA regular monthly prices in August were largely quoted within the existing range from July of €1,230-1,270/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

DEA monthly contract prices mainly rolled over into August on margin recovery and largely balanced market conditions. Slight price rises were also heard in one or two cases in August, but they were not widely confirmed. DEA monthly contract prices in August were largely heard in the low €1,100s/tonne FD NWE.

Further feedback has shown a mix of rollovers and slight rises of €5-20/tonne for TEA 99% in August, depending on source and starting point. This is linked to the underlying need to restore profitability, sufficient-to-finely balanced supply and domestic plant maintenance for one supplier in August.

Some players said slight price rises were possible for TEA 99% in August in some cases, irrespective of the feedstock situation. This is because TEA 99% is performing the best out of all the products. TEA prices were largely heard in August at €1,300-1,340/tonne FD NWE. This reflected a rollover for low-end business and a plus €10/tonne at the upper part of the spread from the prior month.

Numbers either side of the ranges were also heard in August in a few cases, but they were not widely confirmed.

By Heidi Finch