01 July 2013 20:59 [Source: ICIS news]
Although increase initiatives were heard in a range of 4-7 cents/lb, “the plus 5 cents/lb was a slam dunk”, one source said.
The increase moved June truck acetone values to a new range of 69-73 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.
Beyond the feedstock RGP driver, acetone continues to be tight, stemming mostly from reduced phenol production, which continues to hover within a range of 65-70%, most sources said. For each pound of phenol produced, 0.62 pounds of acetone is created.
In the meantime, July nominations for truck-contract price hikes of 2-5 cents/lb began to surface last week. June barge acetone contracts are also rising.
Domestic demand is still heavily dependent upon US housing. While indicators from that end market have been largely positive, a recent large jump in mortgage rates could quell demand as buyers either postpone home purchases or buy smaller homes.
Major US phenol-acetone producers include Axiall, Dow Chemical, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.
($1 = €0.77)
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