11 May 2012 17:17 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May truck acetone prices fell by 6.1% from April levels, tracking aggressive selling and a sharp drop in feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.
US May truck acetone prices were assessed by ICIS at 68-70 cents/lb ($1,499-1,543/tonne, €1,154-1,188/tonne) on a DEL trucks (delivered via trucks) basis.
April pricing was assessed by ICIS at 70-77 cents/lb DEL trucks.
Sources said several distributors and resellers are aggressively moving product and pushing the price down.
“There are some people out there who are not maintaining price discipline,” a producer said. “They’re hurting other acetone markets as well.”
Several distributors said the aggressive selling is being spurred by cheap material purchased at the end of 2011 or a desire to create market share.
“We’re wondering when these tanks of cheap material are going to run out,” a distributor said.
Adding to the cheaper prices is the continuing fall of feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP), which has shed more than 10 cents/lb in the past month.
Producers argued that acetone prices should not be falling as demand is steady and supply is snug because phenol-acetone operating rates have fallen.
However, distributors said the snug supply isn’t as big an issue because inventory levels are adequate and buyers think cheaper spot material from Asia could be arriving soon.
“Everybody’s got enough for now, and they’re waiting for someone else to blink,” a distributor said.
Major US acetone producers include Dow Chemical, Georgia Gulf, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol and Shell Chemical.
($1 = €0.77)
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