US Aug truck acetone assessed at 5.7% hike in splintered market

16 August 2012 21:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US truck acetone prices for August moved up by an average of 5.7% on Thursday, but sources said the market has become splintered.

“No one knows what the price of acetone is,” a distributor said. “It’s all over the place.”

ICIS August truck acetone prices were assessed at 60-70 cents/lb ($1,323-1,543/tonne, €1,072-1,250/tonne) DEL (delivered) trucks, on a pre-discount basis.

July truck acetone prices were assessed by ICIS at 59-64 cents/lb.

Sources said the increases came after producers pushed back a 5 cent/lb price hike from the start of August to the middle of the month.

“It took hold some places, but not in others,” the distributor said. “The midwest has been very competitive.”

Sources said the midwest and west coast markets are seeing business on the lower end of the range, while the northeast and Gulf coast markets are toward the higher end.

Most of the reason for the higher price is coming from tighter supply, as acetone operating rates are low because of weakness in the co-product phenol market.

“There is not much demand for phenol, so people aren’t making it,” a producer said. “And acetone just isn’t profitable enough to make that up.”

Another distributor disagreed with the assertion that supply is tight, saying logistical issues are more to blame.

“We’re not on allocation, which is what happens when we don’t have material,” the distributor said.

($1 = €0.81)

By: John Dietrich

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