Acetone Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Acetone or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
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Acetone overview Transcript
The largest consumer of acetone is methyl methacrylate (MMA) and acrylic acid, nearly all MMA is polymerised to make homopolymers and copolymers.
The second largest use for acetone is the manufacture of bis-phenol A who’s growth is driven by the polycarbonate sector. Other significant outlets for acetone include solvents use.
Around 90% of acetone production is via the cumene route to make phenol, where 0.62 tonnes of acetone is produced with each tonne of phenol. As phenol demand is growing faster than acetone demand there is a global surplus of acetone in the market.
Acetone is a clear water-white volatile liquid, which is highly flammable. Europe has the capacity to produce approximately 2.5 million tonnes per year of acetone, while global production is set close to 7 million tonnes per year. Global growth is around 5% per year with Asia being the fastest growing region. In Europe, growth is set at around 0-2% per year.
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We offer the following regional Acetone analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Acetone marketplace.
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Acetone: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2015
Acetone prices into China, the Asian benchmark, sank to a 13-year low as the third quarter drew to a close. Prices may decline further in the fourth quarter as the market struggles to absorb excess supply. The availability of both Asian and deep-sea cargoes should stay ample, offsetting output cuts in China. Supply should be further expanded by the commissioning of Thai producer PTT Phenol’s new 155,000 tonnes/year plant, increasing availability to a market that is already plagued by excess capacity and weak demand.
European acetone is lengthening again into the fourth quarter with higher operating rates. Continued falls in propylene and oversupply could drive down prices further, although producers hope to keep spot at around contract level. Imports continue but are limited by expected price falls.
US acetone pricing is expected to continue tracking movements in upstream propylene, with a slight recovery as the fourth quarter began. Even with acetone prices having reached multi-year lows and supply long, more favorable margins helped acetone support primary product phenol. The domestic production landscape shifted, with the phenol/acetone business of Axiall Corporation acquired by INEOS and the planned restart of the Haverhill Chemicals plant under new ownership.
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Acetone is a clear, water-white volatile liquid, slightly hygroscopic with a mild, mint-like fragrant odour. It is highly flammable, miscible in all proportions in water, ethyl alcohol, ether and will react explosively with strong oxidising agents.
The largest outlet for acetone is the manufacture of acetone cyanohydrin (ACH), which is a precursor to methyl methacrylate (MMA) and methacrylic acid.
An important derivative of MMA is polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).
Applications for PMMA include windows, skylights, signs, lighting fixtures, automotive parts, medical devices and appliances. A growing sector is in electronic applications where it is used in flat screen televisions and liquid crystal displays.
Methacrylates are also used in latex surface coatings in applications such as architectural, automotive, wood furniture, lacquers and enamels.
Nearly all MMA is polymerised to make homopolymers and copolymers.
The second largest use for acetone is the manufacture of bisphenol-A (BPA), whose growth is driven by the polycarbonate sector.
Acetone is used to make a number of chemical derivatives such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isophorone and diacetone alcohol/hexylene glycol.
Nearly all acetone production is via the cumene route where 0.62 tonnes of acetone is produced with each tonne of phenol. As a co-product to phenol, acetone availability is dependent on market conditions for phenol.