Europe spot acetone prices rise, further hikes expected

30 August 2013 19:04  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Europe spot acetone prices edged up this week and are largely expected to rise again in September, sources said on Friday.

Prices moved up by €30-40/tonne ($39-53/tonne) to €890-930/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) on tight supply - because of continued low phenol operating rates - slightly improved demand and on expectations that September feedstock propylene contract prices will rise on higher energy costs.

Acetone spot prices are expected to spike in September, with sources indicating that levels of up to €1,000/tonne FD NWE and higher, are achievable, depending on supply and demand in the next weeks.

“Prices have moved up since last week, and I see them moving up to €1,000/tonne,” one trader said. “I expect it to happen in the next week or so. Phenol [demand] is so bad, [acetone] availability is pretty tight.”

Another trader said: “Demand will be up, feedstock propylene will have an impact, there is a tightness in supply, phenol [demand] isn't good and production rates are pretty low. Certain big players haven't had spot because of tightness and they’re supplying contract customers. We're really on the cusp. The likelihood is price increases could be pretty significant.”

A producer said: “Acetone is tight and tightening, prices are moving into the mid-€900s/tonne FD NWE, and that’s before we know what the September monthly propylene contract price has been fixed at - and is just a reflection of the supply/demand balance.”

One buyer said: “Acetone availability is not an issue and we have no demand for spot.”

Deals this week have been limited as the majority of players are only just returning from summer holiday breaks. A clearer pricing and demand picture is expected to emerge next week.

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($1 = €0.76)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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