19 April 2013 20:03 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US April barge acetone contract initially settled down by 7.5 cents/lb ($165/tonne €127/tonne) from March, sources confirmed on Friday.
If the market price fully settles at 58.5 cents/lb DEL (delivered), the decline will reflect an 11% drop from March, which saw the barge price at 66 cents/lb.
Though some sources expected settlements to surface later in the month, the market has been active, a seller said.
Tight acetone supply has tempered downward price pressure from feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP), which has fallen by 29% since early March.
The acetone supply crunch is not likely to ease anytime soon.
“Acetone is very tight,” the producer said. “And I don’t see any change in domestic phenol demand in April and May.”
Some have predicted a higher benzene contract price for May, which might further discourage phenol production.
April benzene fell by 33 cents/gal to take the monthly contract price to $4.36/gal.
The US barge acetone contract is negotiated between three large producers – Georgia Gulf, INEOS Phenol and Shell – and the three largest buyers – Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.
($1 = €0.77)
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