Europe acetone spot prices ease again despite market tightness

14 June 2013 13:13  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone spot prices have moved down again despite some tightness in the market, sources said on Friday.

Although fundamentally the market is on the tight side for larger volumes, sources said it is much easier to secure a truck of acetone than it is to buy a barge of it.

“€860/tonne ($1,147/tonne) is the low this week on a free delivered basis, but I really don’t see it going below this level. For us it will mean selling at a loss,” said a trader.

A second trader source said that despite acetone being offered at lower levels in Europe, major producers were not prepared to move prices down any further because they have limited volumes for the spot market.

However, two producers quoted €860/tonne as their lowest price this week.

In Germany, a reseller described the lower prices in the market as “crazy”.

“It’s illogical that prices are coming down, they should be going up with the feedstock price, but there is slow demand and some customers are succeeding in getting lower prices.

“Some producers are desperate and will sell at lower levels, but I think the well has dried a little bit and Rotterdam numbers won't fall anymore. You can get a truck cheaper than barge,” the trader added.

In the UK, spot acetone was valued in the mid £800s/tonne on a free delivered basis. UK traders and distributors were not expecting much to change during the second half of June in terms of their prices or their demand.

In relation to demand possibly tailing off during the summer months, a UK based solvent trader said: “There isn't too much to tail off from.”

Meanwhile, a major consumer of acetone for the production of MMA (methyl methacrylate) said that because of technical problems it will be taking less volume in July.

“Because of a technical problem we will be reducing acetone purchasing. We will take what we have ordered for June, but acetone will be reduced in July,” the buyer said.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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