Europe spot acetone plummets €100/t on weak demand

05 December 2008 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)---The value of European spot acetone dropped €100/tonne ($128/tonne) this week on poor demand and improved availability, market sources said on Friday.

“We are definitely seeing people destocking and cargoes are coming in from the US and Asia,” said a normally active trader.

The trader quoted a selling price of €700/tonne, down €100/tonne on the levels that he was targeting one week ago.

Acetone producers also acknowledged the dramatic turnaround in the dynamics of the acetone market.

“I can subscribe to €680/tonne,” said one producer, adding that he was wary of talking about low numbers when there was “no demand”.

Another producer said: “I am not surprised to find €670-680/tonne. You can put out any number you like, but there is no business right now,” he said.

“A spot market price is difficult to peg because there is no demand,” said a major acetone producer.

“It’s the name of the game in December and people are fighting for volume,” he said, quoting €680-710/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) as “not out of line with the market”.

Sources largely attributed the quick turnaround of the market, which came from a tight to a long position, to the lack of demand in the solvents market as well as in the methyl methacrylate (MMA) market.

MMA producers have been cancelling acetone orders because of poor demand for MMA and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which is heavily linked to the automotive industry.

MMA production accounts for approximately 60% of European acetone demand.

“We have our MMA customers cancelling orders every week,” said a supplier of acetone to the MMA market.

“Everybody (acetone producers) is now looking to sell in the spot market,” he said.

($1 = €0.78)

For more on acetone, MMA and PMMA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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