Europe acetone spot market steady-to-soft - sources

22 March 2013 12:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European acetone spot market is steady-to-soft with little changes to report since the previous week in relation to prices or demand, market sources said on Friday.

Many spot acetone participants saw their buying and selling prices unchanged in a €1,100-1,150/tonne ($1,429-1,494/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) range, although others had seen some slight erosion in values.

“We have seen a little less in terms of demand but [we are] not seeing a real change in price, maybe plus or minus €10/tonne depending on who you are talking to,” a European distributor said.

The distributor believed there was no point cutting prices below €1,100/tonne since it was not justified. “There are no significant volumes available and the market is relaxed,” it said.

While quoting €1,100-1,150/tonne as a representative range for this week, a second reseller said it had heard offers out of eastern Europe at €980/tonne on an FCA (free carrier alongside) basis. The reseller described its demand as “very quiet”.

Other sources had mixed ideas about prices, but the majority confirmed demand had eased a little.

“People are a bit nervous about moving volumes and demand is really not that healthy,” said a third source in the distribution market.

Meanwhile, producers were still sounding rather upbeat about the acetone market, saying demand was good and stock levels were still at a very low level.

One major producer said: “In my case [spot] prices are unchanged but a big change for us is the solvents market is demanding some volumes again. Maybe it’s a bit of replacement of stocks, but we are delivering some volumes for the beginning of April and people want to guarantee volumes for end of April,” the producer source said.

A second major producer said: “It’s really quiet. I think acetone is still the same story - it peaked a few weeks ago. It's business as usual and there are no changes to report.”

Meanwhile, an importer of acetone to Europe quoted €1,080-1,100/tonne FD NWE as its price range for this week.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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