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Our editor gives their expert view
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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News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Acetone
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Updated to Q2 2016
Acetone prices into China, Asia’s largest market, surged by 57.5% between late February and late April on the back of tighter spot cargo availability stemming from a heavy Asian phenol/acetone plant turnaround season in the second quarter, and decreased output in Singapore and Taiwan. Acetone exporters including Taiwan’s Chang Chun Plastics, Mitsui Phenols Singapore and South Korea’s Kumho P&B carried out overlapping turnarounds in the second quarter. The continued absence of deep-sea imports in the first half of 2016 contributed to the leaner spot supply to China.
However, the prices began to sputter from mid-May because of a confluence of factors that drove an increase in supply. The restart of phenol/acetone plants from scheduled maintenance, capacity expansion in Thailand and South Korea, the higher phenol/acetone output in Singapore and Taiwan from May/June, alongside the inability of downstream petrochemical producers to keep up with the earlier acetone price surge, paved the way for acetone’s downward price correction. Thai producer PTT Phenol in May started up its new phenol/acetone unit and this was followed by the June start-up of South Korean producer Kumho P&B’s new unit. The CFR China acetone prices lost 11% between mid-May and late June.
The ICIS Asia weekly acetone report provides key price quotes for China and southeast Asia (SE Asia).
We provide information on deals, bids and offers, which form the basis of the published assessments and bring other factors behind the price movements.
Feedstock benzene and propylene are tracked and an overview of key downstream markets is provided.
Understanding the key cost & freight (CFR) China spot market is complex because of a variety of anti-dumping duties leveraged by the Chinese government.
To provide greater clarity for subscribers, ICIS provides a normalised CFR China quote based on 0% anti-government duty and a 5.5% import duty.
This has been well received by our subscribers as a valuable alternative to the existing benchmark CFR China quote.
We communicate with a wide section of market participants, producers and traders and continue to deliver accurate assessments each week.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Acetone. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
Our time series of pricing data enable you to build and model trends, to get a view of where markets might be heading. The data service includes charting functionality, allowing you to chart and download multiple data series for manipulation in your own internal models. You can also export data to Excel via the ICIS dashboard service.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Acetone, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.