Europe acetone domestic range firms, production issue talk emerges

Source: ICIS News

2018/09/14

LONDON (ICIS)--The European domestic acetone range is stable to firm with market talk of production issues emerging and commanding pricing expectations among sources on Friday.

Firmer figures subsequently led to a jump of €10/tonne on the higher end of domestic pricing at €580-650/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Although most prices were within the assessed range, some figures that could not be confirmed across the wider market crept above the high end.

A spread in pricing has opened up as a result with a split in anticipations intensifying among the market.

With upcoming planned acetone maintenance likely to reduce length, some sources argue that any production issue will tighten available material and place upward pressure on pricing.

This would all come at a time in which consumption has picked up as summer vacations come to their end.

Others argue that the market is too lengthy for an effect to be felt with preparations already made for any lack of material as there is planned maintenance in September.

However, there will be concern regarding the duration of any production issue due to a turnaround in October as well.

"There is a bit of a spread...a divergence in what people are suggesting is going on," said a source.

Participants are also conflicted on European exports.

They say that trade outside Europe is either not attractive or argue product has to be sent abroad to avoid length in the market of origin.

In this climate, the assessed range remains at $540-600/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam.

"I think the question which matters...is how many possibilities do you have to place volumes in a long market?," said a source.

"Therefore, the export market gets interesting," it added.

Acetone can be used in solvent applications and in the manufacture of chemicals for the coatings, plastics, construction and automotive industries.