US November truck acetone prices soften, range widens

26 November 2013 17:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US truck acetone prices for November fell in often-muddy market conditions marked by weaker feedstock and some year-end efforts to reduce inventories, sources said on Tuesday.

The November truck price range dropped by an average of 3-4 cents/lb ($66-88/tonne, €49-65/tonne) and widened to a new pre-discount range of 67-71 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

However, some buyers and sellers said even larger reductions were present in the market.

The market is generally balanced to loose, and some participants said they will not need to purchase more material before the end of the year, but with prices weakening, some may buy additional volumes anyway.

“It seems solvent usage is slowing a bit,” a buyer said, “but going into Q1 we’re kind of bullish on acetone.”

October truck acetone also weakened by an average of 3 cents/lb, which some suggested then would be the pricing floor this year.

Major US phenol-acetone producers include Axiall, Dow Chemical, Haverhill Chemical, Honeywell, INEOS Phenol, SABIC Innovative Plastics and Shell Chemical.

In the large-buyer barge market, the November contract was confirmed weakening to 60 cents/lb and 62 cents/lb, but talks were still incomplete.

The US barge acetone contract is typically negotiated between three large producers – Axiall, INEOS Phenol and Shell – and the three largest buyers – Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.

Among feedstock, US benzene spot prices have begun to soften amid thin trading ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, mainly because of weaker crude oil prices and some perceived benzene pricing weakness in Asia and Europe.

US refinery-grade propylene (RGP) was climbing on improved demand from the plastics market outweighing weaker demand from the gasoline market.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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