Europe spot acetone at eight-month high driven by C3, demand

04 February 2011 14:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone spot prices continued to firm, hitting an eight-month high on the back of rising propylene costs, strong demand and tighter supply, market sources said on Friday.

Spot prices broke the €800/tonne ($1,096/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) mark for the first time since July 2010.

“We are selling nothing under €800/tonne on a free delivered basis. Demand is very good, very strong and we can’t complain,” said a major producer of acetone.

A second producer also quoted its selling price in the €800s/tonne.

“[The price of] €820/tonne is our bottom end and we will be pushing for €850/tonne for the rest of February. We are getting enquiries from Italy, Romania, Turkey, and people are fishing around for product, which is really indicative of producers' resolve to increase prices,” the producer said.

“There is an overall wind of momentum in the market,” he added.

Although European producers valued spot acetone at €800/tonne and above, there were still some corners of the distribution market where prices were below this level.

Referring to spot prices, an active distributor said: “One consumer in west Germany bought eight trucks at €760/tonne, but this guy always buys at the low end, so with this number the upper end of the range should surpass €800/tonne.” 

Another distributor quoted €770-820/tonne FD NWE as indicative of the European spot market this week.

“Acetone prices are definitely up but there is a wide range. Demand is very good from the solvents sector, and there’s not much export because there is not much availability,” he said.

The distributor said it was unsure if spot prices would increase further in February.

On a contractual basis, the methyl methacrylate (MMA) acetone contract price settled at €903/tonne FD NWE, up €28/tonne from the previous month, as a result of higher feedstock propylene costs and tighter supply.

($1 = €0.73)

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



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