European acetone spot prices under pressure - sellers

01 July 2010 13:43  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European acetone spot prices have come under pressure because of softer demand for solvents, the resumption of production at various European sites and competition from imports, acetone traders said on Thursday.

“I still see some downward pressure. Demand is slowing and there is enough availability,” said a Rotterdam-based trader, adding that he had booked acetone truck business this week at €910/tonne ($1,110/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

However, another acetone trader said it had “lost” orders at €864/tonne and €830/tonne, both on an FD basis in Germany.

“We tried to sell at €880-890/tonne earlier in the week, but we lost business at €864/tonne, then at €830/tonne. The orders were for around nine to ten trucks each,” the trader confirmed.

In May this year, spot acetone was valued above €1,000/tonne because of various planned and unplanned outages across the European phenol market.

It was widely predicted, however, that acetone prices would start to fall once the European majors had resumed normal operations following various production issues.

Acetone producers recognised the downward price trend, but most assessed the market at either side of €900/tonne.

One producer source said: “There is [downward] movement, but it’s not clear where the free delivered price is [however] for the 1st of July we are asking for €20/tonne either side of €900/tonne.”

A similar price idea was also voiced by a major producer who believed that acetone prices were under pressure from US imports.

“Prices are under pressure from imports from the US. I see spot at €900-950/tonne... demand is OK,” he said.

Other producers also deemed €900/tonne FD as representative of acetone spot, while it was clear that most traders had lower price assessments.

“It’s a very big contrast to the market a couple of weeks ago and I am happy to sell whatever we can,” a trader commented.

“For acetone I think the party is finally over,” he concluded.

($1 = €0.82)

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

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