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 Q3 2019
Asia Acetone supply fell due to Q3’s production cuts. South Korea’s LG Chem cut production to 90% at its Daesan plant. Compatriot Kumho’s Line 2 remains shut while Lines 3 and 4 reduced production to below 70%. Taiwan’s Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (FCFC) reduced production to below 85%. Compatriot Changchun Plastics and India’s Deepak Phenolics run at 90%. Mitsui Phenol Singapore (MPS) reduced run rates to 80%. PTT Thailand runs one line at 70%.
Summer heat typically impedes acetone production and downstream paint and coating demand. Pre-Golden Week, environmental checks conducted by government bodies at downstream factories became increasingly rampant, causing demand to dip further. Persistent slides in domestic Chinese currency against the US dollar during the China-US trade war clipped importers’ purchasing power. Buying activities picked up towards the quarter-end, as buyers were prompted to seek cargoes with the expectations of rising prices into the new quarter.
Supply of US acetone declined in the third quarter as an ongoing antidumping (ADD) investigation discouraged imports. The ADD investigation involves the top five sources for US acetone imports. Supply also was reduced as declining demand for co-product phenol lowered production rates. However, acetone remained readily available due to inventories and low demand.
Demand for US acetone declined in the third quarter amid poor performance in the downstream automotive and construction sectors. Automotive sales are down globally, while the peak season for construction was less than typical. Ongoing downstream outages and an overall bearish global economy continued in the third quarter.
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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