For the Quarter Ending September 2021
During the third quarter, prices of Acetone remained balanced in North America due to improved demand and supply dynamics as production levels reached near pre-storm levels in August. However, pricing for Acetone in the US measured a significant dip in Q3, witnessing a downward trajectory by falling from USD 1980 to USD 1580 FOB Texas. The decline in prices of the key feedstock Benzene and Propylene favoured the downtrend of Acetone pricing while demand seemed to have reached a level of stagnancy from the downstream BPA and MMA market towards the end of Q3.
In the third Quarter of 2021, the Acetone market in the Asia Pacific region experienced mixed sentiments while the demand for Acetone varied across different countries. The prices of Acetone hovered around USD 872/MT and USD 1010/MT in India and China early in Q3. Acetone supplies tightened towards the middle of Q3 as Chinese authorities imposed new restrictions as the delta variant of COVID-19 emerged in several provinces of China. Logistics at various Chinese ports were delayed, including Yangzhou where the virus spread had been most severe. A number of Acetone shipments were stuck at the ports due to the lack of manpower with some traders unable to load the material at ports. As a repercussion, urgent buyers had to pay higher prices for the Chinese stocks. FOB Qingdao daily bulk prices of Acetone as on 11th August was evaluated at USD 844 per tonne. In Japan, the pricing of Acetone increased from USD 1240 to USD 1350/MT FOB Tokyo during Q3. Whereas, in India, ex-Chennai prices of Acetone declined from USD 998 to USD 872 from July to September, respectively.
The demand for Acetone witnessed an exponential rise in the European region from various downstream manufacturers during the third quarter. FD Karlsruhe offers were assessed at USD 1030/MT in September. Due to surging raw material pricing, the European paint and coatings and printing inks industry was seen under high pressure. A complex combination of demand, capacity issues, and a shortage of transportation resources for raw materials increased uncertainty in the supply chain of Acetone across the European region during Q3.
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Acetone demand in North America remained high throughout the quarter, whereas the supply activities remained restricted initially under the influence of plant turnarounds. However, in the second half of the quarter prices fell effectively, due to the smooth supply of raw materials in USA but remained on a sky-high value compared to last year. In line with astonishing high prices of Acetone across the region, prices of downstream products like BPA and MMA increased effectively throughout the quarter. Therefore, Acetone prices rose initially and later declined during May and June, finally settling at USD 2030/MT for FOB Texas.
Asian market experienced mixed sentiments where the demand for Acetone across the region varied country over country. The demand for Acetone in China remained low throughout the quarter, where in India it fluctuated in a narrow range and demonstrated an overall improvement by around 1.2%. Chinese market experienced feeble demand from downstream IPA manufacturers amid firm availability, as traders and manufacturers already stockpiled enough cargoes of Acetone. Therefore, prices of Acetone hovered around USD 926/MT and USD 1204/MT for China and India respectively during June.
Under the influence of firm demand from downstream paint and coating manufacturers, prices of Acetone increased aggressively during the month of April. European market experienced an extreme shortage of solvents including Acetone across the region, due to low supply activities from USA and domestic manufacturers. Therefore, a sufficient rise in prices of Acetone was observed throughout the quarter in Europe.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
Disrupted production activities and major plants shutdowns due to freezing weather in Texas narrowed down the output of petrochemicals and several other segments in North America during Q1 2021. Due to lower production activities amid high demand from other regions like Asia and Europe, prices of feedstock Propylene skyrocketed during this period, hence the prices of Acetone also rose by 20.64%. During Q1 2021 price of Acetone settled at USD 2425 per MT in March. Although improved weather condition by March ending enhanced the market sentiments across the region.
Global supply shortage impacted the Asian Acetone market, amidst lower domestic output of the region. Chinese Lunar New Year halted the production activities of the country and affected the availability of Acetone across the region. Meanwhile, congestion across prime trade routes between Asia and Europe and high container & freight cost also contributed to push up Acetone prices across Asia. During this period, average Acetone prices in India rose from USD 945 per MT (January 2021) to USD 1329 per MT (March 2021). On other hand, in South Korea Lotte GS Chemical Corporation availed licence for Honeywell UOP Q-max, Phenol 3G and Evonik MSHP technologies to produce Acetone and Phenol at its Yeosu facility with capacity 565,000 MT per annum.
In Europe, due to global Acetone shortage amid lower production from the US and high import demand from major Asian countries, prices of Acetone rose significantly during this period. In some areas of Europe, chilling weather disrupted the railway transportation that reduced the availability of Acetone across the region. Halted supply primarily led to the hike in prices effectively which made traders eager ready to pay premium on truck loads to get the consignment on time.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
Market fundamentals of Asia Acetone Market remained stalled, pressurized by supply overhang due to massive capacity additions from China’s Zhejiang Petrochemicals. However, the equipment failure in the new plant in early September provided huge relief as traders who earlier held back procurement under hopes for further plunge in the prices, rushed to fulfill their inventory requirements as per the consumption pattern. Manufacturers across the Northern Asia operated their plants at nearly full capacities, but the inventories of Acetone remained manageable with appreciable offtakes from certain end-use industries.
The European Acetone market was struck by supply shortage on maintenance turnarounds from Domo Caproleuna and Seqen followed by limited imports from US and Asia. As several countries in the region resumed their work life, increment in demand for clear plastic shield as a prevention for Coronavirus led to increased consumption of BPA and MMA adding to the strong downstream demand. Moreover, rise in the number of home improvement projects kept the demand for Acetone from paints and coatings industry in a healthy position.
Acetone supply in North America was tightened with producers like SABIC and Shell imposing a production turnaround while INEOS submitting the production due to force majeure. Demand remained firm with prominent improvement in economy. Although the demand for its major derivative IPA decreased in comparison to the highs observed in the previous quarter but remained at considerate levels on its consistent consumption in sanitizers and disinfectants.