US October acetone exports fall 66% year on year on tight supply

12 December 2012 18:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US October acetone exports fell by 66% year on year, according to data obtained Wednesday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

Most of the fall was attributed to tight supply and high prices, sources said.

US October acetone exports totaled 13,049 tonnes, down from 38,470 tonnes a year ago.

Supply of acetone for export was tight during October because of low operating rates and phenol-acetone plants.

The low operating rates were driven by weak demand and margins for acetone co-product phenol, which is the dominant product between the two.

As a result, acetone supply, especially for export, was tight throughout the month despite steady demand.

Additionally, US acetone prices were 2-3 cents/lb ($44-66/tonne, €34-51/tonne) more expensive than Asian prices, keeping the arbitrage window closed.

Month on month, US October acetone exports fell by 3.2% from 13,484 tonnes in September 2012.

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

($1 = €0.77)

By: John Dietrich

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