US August barge acetone reaches initial settlement 1.1% higher

22 August 2012 21:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US August barge acetone reached an initial settlement at a 1.1% increase, buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.

Sources confirmed an initial settlement at 45.5 cents/lb ($1,003/tonne, €802/tonne) DEL (delivered).

It is up by 0.5 cent/lb from July’s settlement at 45 cents/lb DEL.

Sources attributed to the slight increase to increasingly tighter supply, driven by lower-than-normal operating rates.

Operating rates are low because of persistently weak margins on co-product phenol over its key feedstock, benzene.

“There are very few acetone sellers on the market,” a trader said. “The big guys can’t move their phenol so they’re not making anything.”

A buyer said it was surprised the settlement moved higher, saying a rollover was its expectation.

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

($1 = €0.80)

By: John Dietrich

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