Price and market trends: Europe acetone prices firm

22 February 2013 10:25  [Source: ICB]

European acetone spot prices moved up again in the week ending 15 February, but the recent pace has slowed, sources said.

"In general, the market is quieter and there is not much [acetone] available below €1,100/tonne [$1,486/tonne]," a trader said on 14 February. "The rapid increase of 10 days ago has calmed down and it's normal now, but maybe because it's mid-month."

One major producer said its acetone supply has not improved, leaving it out of the spot market. "The situation for us has become worse and to say I am short is an understatement. We are lacking a few thousand hundred tonnes."

The producer did not expect the acetone supply situation to improve in the near future, particularly given upcoming outages..

In addition, demand for acetone is typically highest for key derivative methyl methacrylate (MMA) in the second quarter, which will put further pressure on supply.

Although the market remains "acutely tight" in Europe, some easing was felt in the week ended 8 February because customers in a position to stop buying retreated to the sidelines amid high prices.

In the Benelux region, a trader quoted acetone at €1,125-1,160/tonne FD (free delivered) in the week ended 15 February.

"Acetone prices are stabilising, but there are not that many offers," the trader said.

A second trader said: "It's a wide range [for spot prices] again. In the last few days we've seen business at €1,160-1,250/tonne FD for bulk business, although a producer is quoting €1,300/tonne."

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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