31 July 2013 17:58 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The European acetone methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract price is expected to firm in August following the €50/tonne ($67/tonne) increase in the feedstock propylene contract price, sources said on Wednesday.
One major acetone buyer said: “ I think it [the August MMA acetone contract price] will move up by €30-35/tonne, but I wish it were €25/tonne.”
A second major buyer described the propylene increase as “too big”. However, propylene producers had originally been seeking increases of up to €100/tonne from July to August.
A third smaller buyer of acetone said it expected to see its contract price firm by €35/tonne.
“I’ve seen the €50/tonne propylene increase so I am expecting €35/tonne. There is no reason for something different. The supply is not so large due to weak demand in phenol, but in the meantime, the demand [for acetone] should not be so high,” the buyer said.
The buyer had also heard €820/tonne offered in France on a spot basis, but this is in stark contrast to offers by a major producer who is not prepared to sell to the solvents market at anything below the €1,000/tonne mark.
The major producer said it was seeking an increase of €50/tonne for its contract price, and €1,000/tonne for all other business.
All quotes are on a FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) basis.
Acetone supply has been restricted since the middle of July 2012 owing to cuts in primary product phenol.
For every tonne of phenol made, 0.62 tonnes of acetone is produced as a by-product.
The phenol cuts are on a global scale, and as a result acetone is tight not only in Europe, but also in the US and Asia.
Because of this, sources in the European market are expecting spot prices to firm in the coming weeks, particularly if demand returns strong after the August holiday shutdown period.
Notwithstanding the August propylene contract price increase.
($1 = €0.75)
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