24 April 2013 17:21 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US April barge acetone contract weakened for a second month on continued pressure from softer feedstock, sources confirmed on Wednesday.
The April contract fell by 7.5 cents/lb ($165/tonne, €127/tonne) from March to settle at 58.5 cents/lb DEL (delivered).
The barge contract for March previously settled at 66 cents/lb, down 5 cents/lb February.
Based on feedstock alone, the April barge price might have fallen further, but tight acetone stemming from atypically low phenol production has tempered downward price pressure from feedstock refinery-grade propylene (RGP), which has fallen by 29% since early March.
April benzene fell by 33 cents/gal to take the monthly contract price to $4.36/gal.
However, there are differing views on acetone supply. One seller said it expected acetone to remain somewhat tight through May, while one buyer felt acetone supply was nearly balanced with demand, with spot material available.
The truck acetone contract appeared to be headed down by 6-10 cents/lb for April, and demand for derivative methyl methacrylate (MMA) continued strong, sources said.
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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