Corrected: US June truck acetone prices fall 8.6% on lower feedstocks

30 June 2011 18:31  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS news story headlined “US June truck acetone prices fall 8.6% on lower feedstocks” dated 30 June 2011, please read in the second paragraph … June prices were assessed … instead of … July prices were assessed … A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US June truck acetone prices fell by 8.6% on lower feedstock values and slightly softer demand, sources said on Thursday.

June prices were assessed by ICIS at 73–75 cents/lb ($1,609–1,653/tonne, €1,110–1,141/tonne) DEL (delivered) trucks, down by 7 cents/lb from May levels.

Sources quoted a wide range of available prices, from the high 60s cents/lb to the low 80s cents/lb, but most said business was being done in the low- to mid-70s cents/lb.

With the June barge acetone contract falling by 11.5 cents/lb, most sources had expected that truck acetone prices would also fall, though not as steeply.

A producer said that because of the difference in discounts offered in the barge and truck markets, the gap in pricing between them varies.

“The gap between the two isn’t a straight line, but is more of a curve,” a producer said. “The higher the prices get, the smaller the gap gets between the two.”

The main driver for lower prices was the fall of key feedstock propylene, which dropped 15 cents/lb in June on the contract market.

Spot prices for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) also fell throughout the month, leading to expectations that July propylene would settle lower by 5–7 cents/lb.

Demand for truck acetone, which is mostly used in the solvent market, was mostly described as softening and below average for this time of year.

However, several distributors and buyers said demand was stable at somewhat strong levels, but most agreed with the assessment that demand was weaker.

Market sources agreed that the biggest reason for demand dipping is the continued weakness of the US construction and housing market.

Major US acetone producers are Georgia Gulf, INEOS Phenol, Shell Chemical and Sunoco.

($1 = €0.69)

To learn more about acetone visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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