Europe acetone industry giving up on seasonal demand improvement

11 April 2014 15:18 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--European acetone market participants have started to lose hope of a demand pick-up this late in the season, sources said on Friday.

Traditionally acetone sees a spring demand peak, as demand for solvents in the coatings and construction industry draws in extra product. However, this year the increase in demand has been notably absent.

“Demand is pretty stable. [We are] waiting to see seasonal demand from solvents, haven’t seen [it] yet,” said one producer.

The muted demand, as well as better supply from improved operating rates, have led to a looser market balance than normal.

"The availability of material is rather more than good,” said one distributor.

Many in the market are now giving up hope of a demand pick-up, as spring starts to move towards summer.

“We’ve missed the peak. The peak season [is] pretty much over. Summer prices [are] typically lower,” said a second producer.

Others state that to get prices up again something other than a demand improvement needs to happen.

“[There is] no evidence to suggest a pick-up. [The market] needs something to happen - a shortage or shutdown or a price hike in the feedstock,” said a second distributor.

By Rhian O'Connor