Europe acetone demand flat, minimum volume booked

15 August 2013 17:38  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone demand is flat and only a small amount of material was booked this week, market sources said on Thursday.

“Numbers this week are the same as last week,” said a European producer.

“I tried to increase the [acetone spot] price here and there and I got some increases, but not that much,” the producer added.

Acetone is currently valued at €860-890/tonne ($1,147-1,187/tonne) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

In the distribution market, a reseller said: "Prices are moving up on availability, but the funny thing is I have no enquires, demand is not there.

“On an FCA [free carrier alongside] basis it’s €880-900/tonne. For free delivered, the future numbers are €920-940/tonne, but I’ve not sold anything.”

Invariably, demand is on the low side in Europe because of the summer holiday period which has resulted in spot prices holding steady this week.

However, underlying sentiment is that once demand picks up, possibly in the second half of August, spot prices will start to firm.

Major producers are currently quoting acetone at €950-1,000/tonne on an FCA basis.

In relation to the acetone market this week, a trader said: “It’s nothing special. It’s so quiet. Prices for all of us are €880-900/tonne FD.

“All of us are expecting higher prices, but nothing is happening right now. The targets for September are €950-1,000/tonne,” the trader added.

Production rates for primary product phenol remain low and this in turn is keeping acetone availability tight for the solvents market.

For every tonne of phenol produced, 0.62 tonnes of acetone is made.

The outlook for the phenol market for the second half of the year is bleak. Industry sources believe operating rates for phenol maybe turned down further because of poor demand for major derivative bisphenol A (BPA).

This would result in an even tighter supply situation for acetone - if indeed acetone demand proves strong during the third quarter.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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