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BASF hikes EOA prices again

By Gareth MacDonald+

22-Feb-2012

BASF has increased its European prices for ethanolamines (EOA) for the third time in as many months.

In a statement published earlier today the German chemicals giant said that - with immediate effect – it will charge €70 per tonne for monoethanolamine (MEOA) and €90 per tonne for both diethanolamine (DEOA) and triethanolamine (TEOA).

It added that: “The price increase will also apply to current supply agreements as soon as and to the extent permitted by their terms and conditions.”

The move follows just over a month after BASF began charging €60 per tonne for the three chemicals , which itself came just a few weeks after it raised its prices to €50 per tonne .

BASF spokesman Klaus-Peter Rieser told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that rising ethylene and ammonia costs are the reason for the latest increase, echoing comments the firm made at the time of the last price hike.

If the Levy breaks?

The news comes just a few weeks after BASF – and fellow suppliers Ineos Europe and Sansol – asked the European Commission to renew a levy on EOA imported into Europe .

The firms argue that without this charge manufacturers from outside the continent - primarily those producing EOA in the US - could engage in ‘dumping’ – selling the compounds at less than cost – which they believe would ‘injure’ the European manufacturing industry.

The levy was due to expire in January, however, as a result of the request it will remain in place for the next 15 months while the European Commission conducts its review.

in-Pharmatechnologist.com asked BASF if the decision to increase EOA prices was related to its lobbying effort, however the firm declined to comment and instead reiterated that the move was driven by costs.

Pharma implications

Ethanolamines are used in a variety of industrial applications – in the construction, agrochemical manufacturing, cement production and gas processing.

Drugmakers use the compounds for the production of a wide range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the chemical intermediate 2-Dimethylaminoethyl chloride hydrochloride which is a made from dimethylaminoethanol.

According to EU figures quoted during the last ethanolamine review US firms’ share of the European market has fallen by around half to 12 per cent since 2005, with producers in Mexico, Iran, Russia and Taiwan seeing their stake increase from 4 to 7 per cent in the same period.

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