US March barge acetone initially settles at 7.5% increase

21 March 2012 15:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The initial settlement for US March barge acetone was reached at an increase of 7.5%, sources confirmed on Wednesday.

A buyer and seller each confirmed a March settlement of 67.75 cents/lb ($1,494/tonne, €1,135/tonne) DEL (delivered) barges, up from February’s level of 63.00 cents/lb.

A producer said that with feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP) spot prices in the mid-60s cents/lb range for most of March, margins are healthy for acetone.

The producer added, however, that margins have been thin recently, so higher acetone prices are justifiable.

Another producer said that the settlement produces some risk for buyers and sellers, as RGP spot prices could move significantly in late March.

“No one is sure how the month is going to play out in terms of RGP,” the producer said. “But the risk is there for [acetone] buyers and sellers.”

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

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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