EPCA ’09: Another US acetone contract settles in volatile market

04 October 2009 10:25  [Source: ICIS news]

BERLIN (ICIS news)--A major US methyl methacrylate (MMA) buyer finalised a two-month settlement with a major producer for the MMA acetone price at 48.25 cents/lb ($1,064/tonne or €734/tonne) for August and 56.25 cents/lb for September, the players said on Sunday.

One acetone buyer had previously settled its September contract for 55 cents/lb with one of its suppliers, while another player settled its contract for 56.25 cents/lb.

“But after several weeks of negotiations, there are still unresolved contracts in the US acetone market,” an acetone player said on the sidelines of the European Petrochemical Association Conference (EPCA).

Traditionally, a single buyer and seller settle the MMA acetone price and the rest of the market follows. But volatile propylene costs, an unclear supply/demand scenario, and the merging of major MMA acetone producer Dow Chemical and major buyer Rohm and Haas, has led to disarray in contract settlements for the month.

The confusion has also delayed contract settlements from the previous month. There are August contracts still unresolved, and some players said they would not follow the lowest initial settlement of 46 cents/lb.

The July MMA price is 42.75 cents/lb, according to data from global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

With only July numbers published, the stall in negotiations has put pressure on some acetone suppliers, who are already squeezed by high feedstock costs and improved demand.

Lucite, Evonik and Dow - formerly Rohm and Haas - are among the major MMA acetone buyers. Dow, Georgia Gulf, INEOS, Shell and Sunoco are among the major acetone sellers.

($1 = €0.69)

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By: Heather McGuire Doyle
+1 713 525 2653

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