01 February 2013 17:11 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European February acetone methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract price has increased on the back of firmer feedstock propylene costs and tight supply, market sources said on Friday.
The price has settled at €895/tonne ($1,209/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), up €15 from the previous month.
A seller, who confirmed that it settled its February contract at plus €15/tonne, said that it recognised the current imbalance in the acetone market was not being caused by the MMA market.
A major buyer of acetone for MMA production said that the increase was partly based on the propylene increase, but also because getting additional acetone was difficult.
Both parties said that the MMA market was not particularly strong at the moment.
A maker of MMA said that a steep hike in feedstock acetone would “dampen an already depressed market”.
A producer of acetone was surprised about the increase and said that in light of the current tight market situation, the February contract price should have increased by more.
“It’s a real serious issue and I am surprised, there was easily room to move the contract price up to €935/tonne,” the producer said.
“They say a week is long in politics, but a day is a long time in the acetone market. It’s very much a moving target and I am almost sensing a panic in some cases.”
“One of our customers is almost begging for material,” it concluded.
Back in early January when the acetone MMA contract price settled, spot acetone was trading in the mid-to-low €800s/tonne, but spot acetone is now valued in excess of €1,000/tonne with sources saying that they’ve been told to expect €1,100/tonne from next week onwards.
($1 = €0.74)
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