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Plasticizers - Europe H1 January 2021

by Marta Rotini -
  • 15/01/2021 (17:18)
Plasticizers open the new year with fresh hikes

In the plasticizers market, the €65/ton hike in January propylene contracts together with the ongoing tightness in supply, particularly for DOTP, paved the way for a new round of increases.

The overall price ranges for the first half of January were quoted at €1090-1220/ton for DINP and DIDP and at €1170-1250/ton for DOTP FD, 60 days.

As was anticipated in the previous analysis, the plasticizers market remained on a firmer note in January, marking the seventh consecutive month of hikes. Increases of up to €70-80/ton surfaced in DINP and DIDP prices while hike requests mainly in line with the propylene contract gain have been reported for DOTP. The persistent limitations in imports, especially from South Korea, continued to affect DOTP supply, which remained tight. DINP and DIDP availability, on the contrary, was quite regular.

After the year-end festivities, converters came back to their desks and started to secure fresh volumes
at firmer prices. Yet, some of them preferred to stick to the sidelines as they were covered. Demand, meanwhile, was quite regular. The ongoing dearth of DOTP supply due to the absence of imports and limited allocations at a few European suppliers’ side led some converters to prefer DINP to DOTP considering also higher DOTP prices. At the same time, other converters continued to search for DOTP as they cannot substitute it for other products.

In the import market, activities remained muted in the first half of January. Only a few converters reported offers for locally-held volumes of South Korean DOTP at €1400-1600/ton, on FD basis. Yet, these prices did not find acceptance among buyers, who deemed them unworkable.

The plasticizers market is likely to remain on a firm footing in the second half of January. Plus, as long as DOTP availability is tight, prices are expected to increase further. Consequently, early voices for February DOTP prices are firmer. According to players, imports, which play a key role in the DOTP market, are not likely to make their way to Europe in the short term. Regarding DINP and DIDP prices, they may also witness fresh hikes, supported by a possible gain in the next propylene contract settlement as well as rising energy complex.
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