US December truck acetone prices look to move higher

06 December 2012 18:27  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US December truck acetone prices appear to be moving higher on tight supply and feedstock costs, sources said on Thursday.

Several producers and distributors said that efforts to move prices higher by 5-6 cents/lb ($110-132/tonne, €84-101/tonne) in December are finding traction.

“From a producer standpoint the increases are sticking,” a distributor said. “I know that we are and several others are taking a take-it-or-leave-it approach.”

Sources said producers Georgia Gulf, INEOS Phenol and Honeywell have come out with increases of 5 cents/lb, while Shell Chemical came out with a 6 cent/lb increase.

Shell said its increase is the result of it lifting 6 cents/lb off its 7 cent/lb TVA (temporary voluntary allowance) after it announced a 12 cent/lb increase in November with the 7 cent/lb TVA.

The increase is largely stemming from tight supply caused by low operating rates, as well as upstream propylene costs being passed down.

“If you look at where acetone was when propylene was at 38 cents/lb, it hasn’t caught up now that propylene is at 50 cents/lb,” a producer said. “That’s why prices are going up again in December.”

If the nominations are accepted, it would push prices into the high-60s and low-70s cents/lb range on a delivered pre-discount basis, sources said.

Currently, November truck acetone prices are assessed by ICIS at 63-67 cents/lb DEL trucks (delivered via trucks) on a pre-discount basis.

Major US acetone producers include Georgia Gulf, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol and Shell Chemical.

($1 = €0.76)

By: John Dietrich

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