US February truck acetone prices increase 14% on feedstocks

17 February 2012 18:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US February truck acetone prices moved higher by 14% on feedstock costs and improved demand, sources said on Friday.

US February truck acetone prices were assessed by ICIS at 58–64 cents/lb ($1,279–1,411/tonne, €972–1,072/tonne) DEL trucks (delivered via trucks).

US January truck prices were assessed by ICIS at 50–57 cents/lb DEL trucks.

Several price-increase nominations were heard in the truck market in February, in the range of 8–20 cents/lb.

Several sources said the higher nominations came out first, and when the lower nominations were announced, it cut into how much of the increases stuck.

However, at least one producer, Shell, said it has further price-increase nominations set for March.

Shell said it is seeking 12 cents/lb in March with a 6 cent/lb temporary voluntary allowance (TVA), and that it still has a 6 cent/lb TVA in February.

Sources said other producers are eying higher prices in March as well.

The biggest impetus for price-increase nominations is the surge in feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP). Spot prices for RGP have moved higher by more than 20 cents/lb since the start of January on higher alkylation values for gasoline.

Demand for acetone in the truck market, which is mostly for solvent applications, is also improving, sources said.

However, several buyers cautioned that a large portion of this new demand is likely pre-buying and not a fundamental increase in new demand.

Acetone producers said they are also seeing more inquires for spot material from the solvent market, but that bid-offer levels remain too wide for deals to be done.

Major US acetone producers include Georgia Gulf, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol and Shell Chemical.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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