US October barge acetone falls 25% on lower feedstock, demand

02 November 2011 22:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US October barge acetone contract settled at a drop of 25% from September levels, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

At 46 cents/lb ($1,014/tonne, €740/tonne) DEL (delivered) barges, the October contract is down by 15 cents/lb from September’s settlement of 61 cents/lb.

The US barge acetone contract represents the large-buyer market, typically for methyl methacrylate (MMA) production.

The contract is settled between three of the largest US acetone producers – Georgia Gulf, INEOS Phenol and Shell Chemical – and the three largest acetone buyers – Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.

The October contract reached an initial settlement of 46 cents/lb on 25 October, and market participants had expected a uniform settlement.

This biggest reason for the drop in barge acetone prices was the fall in feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP), which has fallen by 7–14 cents/lb over the past four weeks, according to ICIS pricing.

Acetone demand from the MMA market has also declined, sources said, as downstream buyers in the automotive, construction and consumer electronics markets are keeping a tighter reign on inventory levels ahead of year-end taxes.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on acetone and MMA visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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