05 April 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European April acetone methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract price has fallen by €35/tonne ($45/tonne) from the previous month on the back of lower costs for propylene feedstock, sources confirmed on Friday.
Propylene contracts in April fell by €50/tonne to €1,105/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).
Acetone settled at €920/tonne FD NWE for April.
"The market is a bit tricky to be honest. Currently it looks like the market is not as tight as it has been for the last weeks. However, it is my opinion that the market is tighter as it is perceived to be," a seller involved in the deal said.
"‘A decrease equal to propylene would not have been the correct message. The current settlement still shows tightness exists but also takes into consideration latest price developments," the seller added.
A major buyer said it was pushing for a full reflection of the raw material decrease but had not been able to achieve this, given current market fundamentals.
Operating rates for phenol remain reduced at 70-80% as a result of poor demand, which continues to impact the supply of by-product acetone. Sources agreed that the market remains balanced to tight as a result.
Demand for acetone is slower than expected for the time of year, with demand into the coatings sector yet to take off.
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