India importers resist August acetone price hike

16 July 2014 05:51 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Indian importers are firmly resisting higher acetone offers for August shipments from northeast Asia, citing domestic market weakness, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Offers for northeast Asian cargoes this week were at $1,120/tonne FOB (free on board) NE (northeast) Asia - equivalent to $1,180-1,185/tonne CFR (cost and freight) India - and were $30/tonne higher than July prices, they said.

Sellers deemed the higher prices necessary, following spikes in costs of feedstocks propylene and benzene in the previous weeks.

But Indian importers’ buying ideas remained capped well below $1,100/tonne FOB NE Asia, or $1,165/tonne CFR India, amid sharp declines in the prices of imported cargoes offered in the domestic market.

Domestic acetone prices in India  declined in early July, as regional sellers cut offers to boost buying interest. Prices fell to rupee (Rs) 76.00/kg ex-tank from from Rs 80.50-81.00/kg ex-tank.

In import parity terms, prices declined to $1,150-1,160/tonne CFR India from close to $1,200/tonne CFR India, market sources said.

According to importers, the present domestic price is lower than July shipment deal prices, and it is expected to be very difficult for sellers to realise a profit on cargoes that are slated to arrive in July.

Meanwhile, other importers said that they may have to buy acetone at higher prices, because of India’s heavy dependence on imports.

These importers expect domestic prices to go up in the following weeks, when the more expensive cargoes booked in the previous weeks arrive at the Indian imports in July.

Import discussions for August shipments to India are expected to gain further momentum in the following week.

($1 = Rs60.16)

By Veena Pathare