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HFC prices stable despite increased demand

EUROPE: Demand for HFC refrigerants continued to increase in the final quarter of 2020, while prices remained relatively stable, according to the latest European price monitoring survey.

The observed increase in demand, as in the previous quarter, was attributed to stockpiling in advance of this year’s phase-down step. Reports of increases in prices from Chinese producers are also thought to be to blame, but demand was less than in previous years.

Compared to the price drops in 2019 from the peak in 2018 peak, there was a general stabilisation or a moderate reduction of prices in 2020.

Average purchase price development as reported by the three large gas distributors

Prices of R134a and R410A continued to fall at gas producer level, while distributors, OEMs and service company prices dropped slightly or remained stable. 

R404A prices also experienced some reductions at all supply chain levels, with the exception of service companies which reported a slight increase.

Prices of alternatives remained mostly unchanged or decreased slightly at gas distributor and OEM level, with the exception of the R404A alternatives R448A and R449A, which saw slight increases.

Service companies reported a decrease in purchase prices for reclaimed refrigerants R404A (€34/kg) and R422D (€60/kg) while reclaimed R507A prices remained stable at around €50/kg). On the other hand, selling prices for reclaimed R404A increased to €98/kg and R507A reached €113/kg. 

Average prices of alternative refrigerants in Q4/2020.
NB: the number of companies that provide price data for alternatives is much lower than for conventional HFC refrigerants

The purchase price of reclaimed R404A was 10% lower and the selling price 35% higher than virgin R404A prices.

Reported prices for quota authorisations ranged from €0.60 to €3/tCO2e.

There were no reported supply problems with any refrigerant, except for one French service company that said it could not obtain R1234ze from its suppliers. 

The latest report by German consultancy Öko-Recherche was based on figures provided by 74 companies from 12 EU Member States. The main respondents were  from France, Germany, Italy and Poland and included three refrigerant producers, 15 distributors, 28 OEMs, 20 service companies, six end-user and two others.

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