Europe spot acetone sold in Italy at €1,400/tonne - producer

01 April 2011 12:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European spot acetone prices continued to firm this week, with the highest-priced deal done in Italy at €1,400/tonne because of tight supply, a European producer said on Friday.

“We sold into Europe at €1,400/tonne into northern Italy, which shows the state of the spot market,” the European producer said.

However, other sellers to the south of Europe have not seen spot values this high.

“I just spoke to my sales man in Italy and he sold at €1,150/tonne. I don’t see this is the end [of prices moving up] but I don’t see it as high as €1,400/tonne,” said another European producer.

However, distributors based in northwest European that do business in the south said they had also sold at higher numbers this week.

“We have had a busy week and prices in the south are going crazy,” said a distributor based in northwest Europe.

The distributor said while it could buy acetone in the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Germany and France at €1,000/tonne ($1,429/tonne) on an FCA (free carrier) basis, it had sold acetone into Italy at €1,170–1,180/tonne on a free delivered (FD) basis.

Another reseller of acetone said: “We moved volume to Italy this week at €1,170–1,180/tonne.”

A source at Italian producer Polimeri Europa said: “We don’t have a drop of product for our customers and they can’t get material from other sources.”

Polimeri is due to have a planned turnaround at its plant in Mantova, Italy, from early June until early July. The plant has the capacity to produce 300,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 185,000 tonnes/year of acetone.

Also in the south of Europe, Cepsa Quimica is in the fourth week of a planned turnaround of its phenol/acetone line two in Huelva, Spain.

This has the capacity to produce 200,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 124,000 tonnes/year of acetone.

The company has confirmed the line is due to come back on stream as planned next week.

In Germany, INEOS Phenol announced to its phenol and acetone customers that it will be reducing its output by 10% in April owing to problems with the supply of cumene.

Other European producers that have maintenance scheduled for the spring and summer months include Domo Caproleuna in Germany and Novapex in France.

In addition to the planned European turnarounds and current high level of inquires for spot acetone, the planned closure of Slovnaft’s phenol and acetone production in Bratislava, Slovakia, from 30 June has led to new interest from buyers based in eastern Europe who in the past had bought supplies locally and from suppliers in the south of Europe.

The Bratislava plant has the capacaity to produce 40,000 tonnes/year of phenol and 25,000 tonnes/year of acetone.

In northwest Europe, spot prices have moved up because of the tight supply situation and healthy level of demand.

No prices were recorded below the €1,000/tonne mark on an FCA or FD basis this week.

The upward momentum on the value of acetone was further enhanced by the April propylene contract, which settled at €1,210/tonne, up €25/tonne from March.

($1 = €0.70)

For more on acetone visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Please visit the acetone ICIS plants and projects database

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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