Europe acetone spot prices continue upward momentum

31 January 2013 16:48  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone spot prices continue to firm as availability outside fixed contracts is virtually non-existent, market sources said on Thursday.

“It’s going straight to €1,000/tonne ($1,351/tonne) DDP (delivered duty paid). There are no volumes available and I don’t think producers had planned for this,” said one trader source.

The trader believed that destocking ahead of year-end, January re-stocking, exports to Asia and the US - notwithstanding low operating rates on primary product phenol -  were all contributing factors to the speed at which spot acetone prices have firmed in recent weeks.

“There is just no material,” the trader concluded.

Acetone spot prices in Europe have been firming at a rapid pace in recent weeks, primarily as a result of reduced operating rates of primary production phenol. For every tonne of phenol produced 0.62 tonnes of acetone is made.

Another trader said: “Producers have been caught by surprise.  We saw this last year.”

Spot prices are moving up so quickly, a third trader, who quoted acetone at €950-1,000/tonne (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in the morning, was quoting €1,100/tonne by the afternoon.

Another source normally selling acetone to the end-user market said it was receiving lots of enquiries from “desperate” customers and that it was unable to secure any volume at all for the resale market until March.

Spot prices in the UK are also skyrocketing, moving up £300 in less than a month. Spot acetone in the UK is now quoted at £1,050/tonne FD.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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