US March truck acetone prices increase 8% in splintered market

16 March 2012 19:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US March truck acetone prices were assessed 8% higher on Friday in a splintered market.

ICIS prices were assessed at 70-77 cents/lb ($1,543-1,698/tonne, €1,173-1,290/tonne) DEL trucks (delivered via trucks).

February prices were assessed at 66-70 cents/lb DEL trucks.

Distributors said the market is segmented because sellers have material purchased at differing levels.

“A lot of people have old inventory and new inventory and it’s a mess,” a distributor said.

Another distributor echoed the sentiment, saying there are pockets of material available in the mid-50s and mid-60s cents/lb.

“Demand is still weak, so people are trying to get rid of volume,” the distributor said.

The biggest reason for acetone surging is the increase in feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP) spot prices.

Spot RGP prices have increased by more than 20 cents/lb since the start of the year, pushed higher by gasoline alkylation values and the US cracker turnaround season.

Acetone supply is also tighter because operating rates have been lowered. This is because export opportunities are limited by a weak Asian market.

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

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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