US October truck acetone set for fall despite tight supply

05 October 2012 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US October truck acetone prices are starting to fall, sources said on Friday, despite tight supply and steady demand.

Several sources said they are seeing October truck material being done at around an average of 62 cents/lb ($1,367/tonne, €1,052/tonne) DEL (delivered) on a pre-discount basis.

US September truck acetone was assessed by ICIS at 62-68 cents/lb DEL trucks on a pre-discount basis.

Another source said it is seeing material as low as 58 cents/lb on a pre-discount basis in the US Gulf and midwest regions.

“There are some nervous sellers out there, which makes them bad sellers,” a distributor said. “They keep lowering their prices until they get orders.”

Another market player speculated that several distributors were able to get a barge of material in the mid-40s cents/lb FOB (free on board), so selling material in the 58-62 cents/lb range is economic for them.

However, other sources said they are not seeing a significant fall in truck acetone prices. They said they see the price range narrowing as material at the edges is pushed on downstream players or snapped up by aggressive buyers.

“The truck market has been steady for a while now,” a source said. “The only way it moves up is if propylene surges.”

The source added that with several acetone plants recently or set to be down for maintenance, supply will be tight.

Sources said Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell and SABIC have either completed turnarounds in September or will be in turnaround in October.

The three have a combined acetone capacity of 698,000 tonnes/year, according to ICIS plants and projects, which accounts for almost 40% of US capacity.

($1 = €0.77)

By: John Dietrich

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