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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Acetone news and market information products from ICIS
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 2017
The supply is set to tighten with two plants scheduled for turnarounds. Japan’s Chiba-based Mitsui Chemicals will be shut from beginning of October for 40 days. South Korean’s Kumho P&B will be shut for more than two weeks in November. Taiwan Prosperity Chemical Corp (TPCC) is eyeing maintenance towards the end of the year.
Demand typically improves in Q4, after the summer season in northeast Asia in Q3. The cooler weather is typically more conducive for production and downstream paint and coating projects. Restocking activities are expected after China’s Golden Week in early October. In addition, uncertain production rates and restart dates at petrochemical plants along US Gulf may continue to result in higher demand for Asia-origin cargoes.
Acetone supply in Europe is set to be bolstered as the planned turnarounds that were carried out in the third quarter come to an end. However, a force majeure declaration announced as the third quarter ended has generated uncertainty in the market, particularly in the spot market, where pricing remains more volatile.
The fourth quarter has begun with a flurry of enquiries following a force majeure declaration at the close of the third quarter. Underlying demand is relatively good after the summer holiday but the winter holiday period at the end of the fourth quarter may impact demand in some downstream markets and soften acetone demand. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether this will indeed be the case.
Acetone supply should be stronger in the fourth quarter as production returns to normal following outages caused by Hurricane Harvey. Import supply is also expected to improve on attractive pricing and increased availability from Asia.
Downstream plant turnarounds are expected to be finished by November, which should boost demand for the rest of the fourth quarter. Downstream plants that had production issues following Hurricane Harvey are also back up to full rates.
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Acetone news & analysis
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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.
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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.