Demand in Europe remains low

European oxo-alcohols spot prices were stable to lower in the week to Tuesday, with sources pointing to still lackluster demand for oxo-alcohols. Demand from the automotive and construction sectors in particular was said to be weak, with one producer saying products such as oxo-alcohols that “end up in these value chains are in lower demand.” However, sources said the 2-ethyl hexanol market saw some support this week from higher US demand. “I got a lot of enquiries from the US, meaning something is happening in the US market, potentially production issues,” a second producer said. “They are seeking quite significant volumes of 2-eh for late February delivery into the US.” However, a third source said that while the arbitrage window to the US is open, “there are still enough volumes [of 2-eh] available in Europe.” S&P Global Csg assessed 2-ethyl hexanol stable on the week at Eur1, 060/mt FD NWE Tuesday, within a Eur1,020-1,120/mt range heard corroborated by several sources. N-butanol and iso-butanol were assessed at Eur960/mt FD NWE and Eur800/mt FD NWE, respectively. Prices for n-butanol hence fell Eur15/mt week on week and were assessed based on a Eur950-990/mt range heard corroborated by several sources and indications of weak demand for solvent applications in the automotive industry. I-butanol was assessed down Eur30/mt week on week, within a range of Eur750-840/mt heard and based on indications of ample availability of product of Russian origin in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region. Fundamentals on the PA market remained unchanged. Despite some sources saying a large producer on the upstream orthoxylene market had over-committed for contracts, meaning customers had come to the OX spot market for additional volumes, the PA market remained long and prices were unaffected. “[This] could only have an impact if PA producers are getting fewer raw materials,” a fourth source said, adding that he did not think this was the case. “The market is still oversupplied, nothing has changed,” the source said. Csg assessed PA flake stable on the week at Eur940/mt FD NWE, corresponding to a value heard pegged around Eur940/mt in the market.

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