US April truck acetone prices stable in fractured market

13 April 2012 20:54  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US April truck acetone prices were assessed unchanged from March levels on Friday as a fractured market created a lack of consensus among buyers and sellers.

April truck acetone was assessed by ICIS at 70-77 cents/lb ($1,543-1,698/tonne, €1,173-1,290/tonne) DEL trucks (delivered via trucks), flat with the March assessment.

“This is the most fractured I’ve ever seen the market,” a distributor said. “Nothing makes sense.”

The distributor said its April acetone pricing is in the low-70s cents/lb level on a delivered, pre-discount basis.

However, the distributor said sales are lacklustre because customers are reporting material available in the mid-60s cents/lb.

“We don’t know where it’s all coming from,” the distributor said. “We assume it has to run out at some point.”

A large seller said its prices on a delivered, pre-discount basis are also in the low-70s, but that it too is competing with cheaper material.

Several sources said the cheaper material is coming from traders who purchased product in late 2011 at cheap prices and now need the storage capacity for other products.

Several acetone producers said their April material is priced at the high-70s cents/lb range after a 6 cent/lb increase nomination.

The increase nomination was mostly fuelled by continued tight supply caused by lower operating rates, as well as more expensive feedstock costs from refinery-grade propylene.

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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