US February barge acetone lower, truck values marginally higher

07 March 2014 23:08  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US February barge acetone has settled lower by 1.50-3.00 cents/lb ($33-66/tonne) from January’s split settlement, as upstream propylene sentiment weakened along with the February contract, sources said on Friday.

The decrease moved the barge contract to 67 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

At least two players – a buyer and a seller – indicated that they were not fully active in the market during February, owing in part to weaker demand, which helped account for weaker pricing.

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

Also, upstream contract propylene settled down by own by 1 cent/lb for February, tracking a drop in spot propylene values earlier in the month. However, spot values have increased slightly over the past week.

In the US truck market, the February contract was assessed higher by an average of 2 cents/lb for most customers less on strong demand than on supply delays attributed to harsh winter weather, which constrained supply.

Other buyers, however, took no increase in February as demand wavered. Some of the latter sources reckoned that March increases were likely, however, given snug supply.

Mid-month price-hike proposals of 5-6 cents/lb were originally proposed.

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

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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