India acetone gains $40/tonne on weaker rupee, tight supply

29 November 2012 04:47  [Source: ICIS news]

Spot prices of acetone in India riseSINGAPORE (ICIS)--Spot prices of acetone in India rose by $40/tonne (€31/tonne) this week as the country’s currency – the rupee – weakened, making imports more expensive, market sources said on Thursday.

On 28 November, acetone was assessed at $990-1,040/tonne CFR (cost and freight) India, reflecting increased prices in the domestic market, as well as higher import offers.

Non-dutiable imported cargoes were offered in the domestic market at Rs66-68/kg ($1.18-1.22/kg) ex-tank Kandla/Mumbai this week, an increase of Rs5-6/kg over the previous week, they said. 

Late last week, acetone producers in India announced a similar increase in list prices to Rs68/kg EXW (ex-works) as the rupee depreciated against the US dollar, a trader said.

While the downstream pharmaceutical sector in India accepted the increased prices, end-users in the coatings sector continued to resist higher offers for acetone, market sources said.

Offers and selling ideas for non-dutiable Taiwan-origin product also increased by $20/tonne this week to $990/tonne FOB Taiwan or $1,060/tonne CFR India for December lots, because of tight supply in northeast Asia, according to regional producers.

A number of them have cut phenol/acetone production because of squeezed margins and poor demand for phenol that affected the supply of acetone.

Acetone is a by-product in the manufacture of phenol from feedstock benzene.

Producers mentioned that they continued to prefer selling to the key China market to achieve better realisation on the squeezed margins, until prices in India meet their price expectations at $1,060/tonne CFR India levels.

Acetone prices in China have been increasing week-on-week for more than a month, and are currently in the range of $1,080-1,090/tonne CFR China.

Acetone is used as a solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and industrial coatings.

($1 = Rs55.71 / $1 = €0.77)

By: Veena Pathare
+65 6780 4327

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