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Europe acrylic acid and esters market faces uncertain outlook for Q3

August 04/2011

(ICIS) -- The European acrylic acid and acrylate esters market is in a state of confusion, as uncertainty surrounding feedstock propylene and a wide scattering of prices has led to some nervousness among players, sources said on Thursday.

Some purchasers are very nervous, said one supplier. There are concerns about security of supply, so we have seen some healthy buying interest despite the usual August slowdown. The sentiment for September is very strong there is a real sense of this and buyers are trying to better secure volumes.

Another major European seller agreed, adding that it had already confirmed some contracts for August at a rollover despite the eventual propylene reduction of EUR 15/tonne. The drop in propylene took everyone by surprise and possibly worried the purchasers a little, said the seller.

There was also some concern surrounding availability in Asia and any potential impact in Europe following a fire at a propylene pipeline in Taiwan over the weekend.

However, no damage was reported at the 100 KTa crude acrylic acid plant located in the same complex, and operating rates were maintained at 100%, said a source from the company.
With prices in the Chinese market continuing to firm on restricted availability in the region, no significant volumes are expected to make their way into Europe in the coming weeks.

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