ICIS publishes the weekly Acetone report in Asia, China, Europe and the US.
The reports contain information on spot and contract prices, imports, and production issues, as well as maintenance plans and upstream/downstream intelligence. The unbiased pricing data, gathered by our locally based reporters, enables those involved in Acetone or related products to make informed business decisions.
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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 Q3 2018
Supply is expected to be higher, as co-product phenol and its derivatives are expected to perform well. As of 29 June, the average operating rate in China was at 94%. However, the offtake is likely to be slow during the summer lull in China and monsoon season in India.
Demand is expected to stay lacklustre, due to the summer lull in China and monsoon season in India. The solvents chain, including downstream IPA and MIBK applications, are not expected to perform well. Paint and coating projects are typically hindered during these periods. Hence, active acetone procurement is unlikely.
Supply of European acetone will be partially linked to downstream consumption, which was low in quarter two. There is a turnaround at France-headquartered Novapex’s Peage site in July that extends into August. The planned maintenance is longer than previous scheduled shutdowns as the producer is expanding its isopropanol (IPA) capacity in the summer as well.
European acetone consumption should receive a boost once operating rates rise with the restart of downstream methyl methacrylate (MMA) market, following turnarounds and production issues. Some downwards pressure is expected by sources for August as typically demand quietens down in the month on public holidays.
Supply is expected to remain long on high operating rates, even as inventories are drawn down. Supply of lower-priced imports from Asia is also expected to become a major factor in the third quarter.
Demand from the two largest sectors (bisphenol A and methyl methacrylate) should remain strong, and the expected restart of a major downstream unit should further boost demand. Demand from the solvents sector is also expected to hold at high levels.
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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.