LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone participants reported lower prices on Friday, against a backdrop of limited demand and better availability.
“Demand is not that healthy and again no problem with availability,” said one distributor.
The better availability comes as phenol producers increase operating rates faced with better demand. Acetone is a co-product of phenol, and operating rates are normally determined by phenol demand.
“Operating rates are now in the high-70s [%],” said one trader.
In addition, weather problems in the Atlantic which were slowing deliveries of material now seem to have improved.
“Right now, [we have] no logistics problems anymore,” said the affected producer.
Demand remains very weak, with no sign of a seasonal uptick for the solvents market.
“[Customer are] hesitating to confirm any volume - [I’ve received] very little enquiries,” said one trader.
Most market participants are hopeful of an improvement in fundamentals over the next few weeks, with a seasonal demand increase and further potential for logistics difficulties both mentioned as possibilities.
“Demand increase should come soon for coatings and construction,” said the trader.
“[We] expect more delays in delivery in March,” said the distributor.