03 May 2013 09:24 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone spot prices have fallen again this week because of some aggressive selling, largely in Germany, sources said on Friday.
“There is a wide spread from the lowest to the highest [price]. It’s surprising, but it’s reflecting to a certain extent the flat demand,” said a trader based in Germany.
“I don't want to describe €950/tonne ($1,234/tonne) as a typical price level because I can still see some trucks sold for more than €1,000/tonne. I have a good explanation for the downward trend - there is one producer who had excess material,” the trader added.
Other resellers located in Germany also quoted lower numbers this week.
“We are hearing mixed numbers. Customers are say €950/tonne is okay, but I have heard lower numbers but we still have problems to go down like this because of the INEOS shutdown,” said a second trader source.
“Acetone is not so available right now and demand is so bad it’s just quite. If we receive orders it’s a truck here and there. Sentiment is really depressed - the reason not so clear,” it added.
Prices in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region were not as low as in Germany, although sources sounded just as downbeat about demand from the solvents sector.
“I see a wide spread. I bought from my supplier at €930/tonne FCA (free carrier alongside) last week and now they offer me a stay-away price of €1,000/tonne. But I lost an order at €985/tonne,” said a reseller. It described its demand a “lousy".
Another ARA based trader quoted €1,000-1,020/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) as it selling price, but said it had sold very little this week.
In relation to news that major phenol buyer, DSM, has declared force majeure on phenol and caprolactam (capro), and how this might impact on by-product acetone, a reseller said: “Cuts in phenol will only be felt in acetone is there is strong demand. Further reductions in phenol [production] might happen, but even if acetone gets tighter it will only make a difference if demand is strong and at the moment May is not looking like a good month.
"Nothing is moving for export and Europe is the highest priced region.”
The reseller quoted €950-1,000/tonne FD NWE as its acetone spot price for this week.
($1 = €0.77)
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