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.
Updated to Q4 2020
Supply fell due to planned and unplanned turnarounds and reductions. South Korea’s Kumho P&B and Japan’s Chiba-based Mitsui Chemicals were shut in October; Taiwan Prosperity Chemical Corp was shut in December. Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical had an unexpected turnaround in November. A couple of plants were heard to have cut back on production from feedstock supply issues.
Spot demand soared in November following a sluggish October, due to cutbacks in spot supply from scheduled and unscheduled turnarounds. CFR CMP prices were at their second highest of the year. Feedstock benzene and derivatives also rendered support, particularly major derivatives, IPA and MMA whose end uses in disinfectants and protective sheets respectively were used in combatting the coronavirus.
Availability remained tight to short in Q4 in the spot and contract markets, as downstream demand improvements met relatively low production rates. Planned maintenance by producers INEOS Phenol and Cepsa and a force majeure at the Borealis plant in Finland, combined with fewer imports from Asia and Russia and high demand for exports, added to the tightness.
Demand continued to strengthen in Q4, as downstream consumption of BPA and MMA was boosted by a reduction of imports and gains in automotive demand. Solvents, paints and coatings saw stronger-than-usual demand at the end of Q4 amid by an uptick in home improvement activity.
Supply was very tight for several reasons. SABIC and Shell took turnarounds during H1 Q4, while INEOS and Shell had force majeures in effect. Lower production of phenol also led to less acetone being produced. Antidumping duties (ADDs) against five countries (Spain, Singapore, Belgium, South Africa and South Korea) and tight overseas markets discouraged imports. The market continued to test a price ceiling as availability was severely limited, especially for spot material.
Buyers scrambled for product, but deals were difficult to strike. Some were turned away, even if they approached non-traditional suppliers and/or were willing to pay higher prices. Demand for polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) into acrylic sheets slowed down somewhat from pandemic highs but remained healthy amid sustained demand from some corners during the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases.
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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The main use of acetone, accounting for over a quarter of total consumption, is in the manufacture of acetone cyanohydrin, a feedstock for methyl methacrylate (MMA). The other major and fast growing derivative is bisphenol-A (BPA).
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.
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Safeguard your future with the opportunity to discuss your expectations and learn from industry experts at The ICIS 2020 World Phenol-Acetone Conference, a biennial event in the calendar of professionals across the globe. You can get face-to-face time with existing suppliers or explore new business opportunities to initiate future connections.
As a global event, a worldwide perspective is reflected throughout agenda topics, speakers and attendees. With content covering regional trends and their impact globally, you can expect to gain insight on a variety of relevant topics