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European butyl acetate prices mixed amid uneven supply

   Butyl acetate prices in most of Europe are being offered at a steep premium to Northwest European rates, according to market sources. Prices in the Nordics and the UK were heard near Eur2,000/mt ($2,120/mt) while prices have been assessed at Eur1,500/mt FD NWE for the past three weeks. 

  "Supply is not spread evenly between the regions yet and so the tightness in one part is currently different from another", a source said. Southern European prices were also at a premium amid continuing tightness as supplies slowly make their way to the region. 

  "They [southern Europe] can get product from Rotterdam, Russia or Poland. They have not been getting anything from Rotterdam and from Russia to Europe. It is an extra Eur150/mt for the freight and from Poland it is Eur120/mt. Either way they are paying more," a second source said. 
Butac prices shot up Eur500/mt at the beginning of February as Oxea, one of three producers in Europe, declared force majeure due to a technical issue. 

   Prices in Northwest Europe where said to be close to the Eur2,000/mt mark for a few days following the force majeure before calming down. The finally balanced butac market was already tight because of BASF's force majeure from October, which the company said was still in place. The two force majeures left Ineos as the sole significant producer. 

    "Ineos is now the last man standing, so it can basically charge whatever it wants," a source said at the time. Oxea lifted its force majeure in the middle of last week, and supplies have began to arrive in Rotterdam, the company and sources said. Oxea is the largest producer of butac in Europe with a capacity of 100,000 mt/year at its Marl, Germany, plant. 

    BASF is close behind with a capacity of 90,000 mt/year in Ludwigshafen, Germany plant. Ineos is the smallest of the three with an annual capacity of 60,000 mt in Antwerp, Belgium.




Contact: Happy Wang