Europe acetone spot demand slow, prices ease again

26 April 2013 12:39  [Source: ICIS news]

By Julia Meehan

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone spot prices have come down again because demand into the solvents market is weak and in order to do any business sellers need to offer lower numbers, sources said this week.

“It’s not been a busy week. We’ve done some business but prices are definitely down. I would say €980/tonne [$1,273/tonne] DDP [delivered duty paid]. This is currently what is workable and it’s €940-940/tonne FCA [free carrier alongside] if you want to book something,” a trader said.

“You either drop your price or you don’t get the business. I never expected prices to be at such a low level,” the trader added.

A second trader described business this week as “extremely” quiet.

“We are happy if we do a few trucks here and there - volume wise it's a nightmare - I can't understand why demand is so low,” the trader said.

A third trader source said that it was only able to move volume if it offered below €1,000/tonne on an free delivered (FD) basis.

A producer also confirmed that its spot prices had moved down this week and it was not optimistic about May because it was littered with public holidays across Europe.

It also believed that the planned outage at INEOS Phenol in Antwerp, Belgium, would have no impact on the market.

“I think nobody will pay attention at all to the Antwerp shutdown. I think acetone will move down slightly and hopefully propylene will move down so we can keep the margin,” the producer said.

An initial May propylene contract price settled down by €80/tonne at €1,025/tonne FD NWE (northwest Europe).

A buyer of acetone for the solvents and methyl methacrylate (MMA) markets said its demand was “very low”.

Describing the overall market situation, the buyer said: “Europe is in bad shape, but maybe not too much in MMA.”

A major producer of MMA described its demand as “steady” and “moving sideways”, adding that it had no problem securing all the acetone it needs to fulfil its downstream demand.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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