US February acetone exports decrease 32% month on month

13 April 2012 18:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US February 2012 exports of acetone fell by 32% from January, according to data released by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) on Friday.

Weaker demand and a wide gap in buy-sell ideas were the main reasons for the fall from January 2012 levels.

February 2012 exports of acetone were 27,697 tonnes, down from 40,807 tonnes in the previous month.

Year on year, exports increased 28% from 21,869 tonnes in February 2011.

In February 2012, feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP) prices surged on stronger demand for fuel usage.

However, chemical demand for RGP was stable to soft, leading chemical buyers to exit the market in hopes that prices would drop.

For acetone, US supply was tight, but Asian prices were cheaper, which cut into the ability of market players to do much business.

US February acetone prices were assessed by ICIS at 47-59 cents/lb ($1,036-1,301/tonne, €787-989/tonne) on an FOB (free on board) basis.

On the import side, total US acetone volumes more than doubled to 2,765 tonnes in February 2012 from 1,226 tonnes the previous month.

Year on year, imports fell by 25% from 3,705 tonnes in February 2011.

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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