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The cost of acetone in Europe is set to firm again

March 01/2011

(ICIS) -- The cost of acetone in Europe is set to firm again because of tightness in supply and another increase in the cost of feedstock propylene, market sources said on Tuesday. In relation to the "high" and "unexpected" ?80/tonne ($111/tonne) increase in the March propylene contract price, a European producer described it as "a disaster for our customers.

This is a disaster for our customers. They are going to kill us. In just one or two hours the cost of propylene increased by ?40/tonne. We were expecting it (the propylene contract) to increase by ?20-40/tonne, the producer said.

On the back of another hike in feedstock costs, the producer said its target for spot acetone was now in the low ?900s/tonne for the solvents market and the high ?900s/tonne for the pharmaceutical sector.

Tightness in the European market was also fuelling the intention of acetone producers to raise spot and contract prices in March. A number of suppliers said they were totally sold out of material.

While the March propylene contract increased by ?80/tonne, the March benzene contact price rolled over at ?1,001/tonne.

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