15 February 2006 20:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The first-quarter US barge methyl methacrylate (MMA) acetone contract price has been set at 36.5 cents/pound ($804 or Euro676/tonne), down 2 cents from the fourth quarter for a full industry-wide settlement, buyers and sellers confirmed on Wednesday.
Barge MMA acetone is used to produce MMA. Major US MMA acetone producers include Ineos Phenol, Shell, ?xml:namespace>
Barge MMA acetone spot prices have been falling since December due to excessive inventories in three regions, volatile propylene prices and slower than expected demand, sources said.
Beginning in December, spot prices for MMA acetone dropped below the contract price of 38.5 cents/pound to the low 30s cents/pound. A few spot deals were transacted at 32 cents/pound in January, according to ICIS-LOR.
Players said MMA acetone supply has been building and demand is not strong. MMA producers said that their acetone inventories were high as a result of operational problems in 2005 and outages caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
However, feedstock prices and MMA demand are both expected to increase in late February-early March, bringing the US MMA acetone price back up.
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