German Tetrahydrofuran Prices Experience Slower Pace Amidst Weakening Demand Outlook
- 09-Aug-2023 2:55 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
Germany- Tetrahydrofuran prices in the German market experienced a slower pace in the first week of August, primarily due to a less robust demand outlook for the product. This reduction was attributed to steady feedstock costs (butanediol) and a minor uptick in industrial operational rates. While significant factors play a crucial role in influencing Tetrahydrofuran market prices, smaller elements like economic deceleration and inflation have also emerged as potential challenges for manufacturers and suppliers in terms of order placement and fulfillment. Notably, in the German market, the price range for Tetrahydrofuran settled at USD 2000 per metric ton on a FOB basis in Hamburg.
The less optimistic perspective is further supported by the July Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) figures falling short of expectations. The service sector exhibited sluggish growth and a notable decline in the manufacturing sector. Given the anticipation for the third quarter by market participants, the European economy might remain stagnant, largely due to the elevated interest rate environment, which is negatively impacting investment and consumer spending across Europe. Due to the time lag in monetary policy impact, the effects of the European Central Bank's recent series of interest rate hikes are yet to manifest in the real economy fully. Slowcession is a new concept that is emerging in the European market as the country is lagging in political and trading bounds with Asian countries along with economic uncertainty.
Tetrahydrofuran production cost remained on the softer side as the feedstock (butanediol) prices are still under pressure, significantly impacting the overall price dynamics of Tetrahydrofuran in Germany. This reduced demand, combined with the necessity to reduce existing product inventory, has led manufacturers to maintain lower prices for Tetrahydrofuran. Throughout the quarter, there was a decline in German industrial production, which is hindering the recovery of Europe's largest economy following a minimal exit from the recession earlier this year. The decrease was primarily driven by declines in the automobile and construction sectors, as reported by the major Tetrahydrofuran players.
Several major reasons augmented the overall demand outlook for Tetrahydrofuran, including attaining saturation point as consumers have more varieties and the market competition is rising. Moreover, the economic factors worked against the market as the rise in interest rates and uncertainty in operational units of end-use manufacturers impacted the overall market dynamics of Tetrahydrofuran. As per ChemAnalyst, Tetrahydrofuran prices in the domestic market are expected to display minor price variations due to consistent demand from end-use manufacturing facilities.