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→ ACETONE REPORT

ACETONE REPORT

An Analysis by Garrett Velarde

 

The MMA Producer-Monthly Barge Contract for July settled at $0.405 per pound. This represents a $0.005 per pound increase from June to July. Things have quieted down in the acetone world. Is the non-volatility here to stay!?


The refinery grade propylene (RGP) spot weighted average increased approximately $0.0075 cent per pound from mid-month June to mid-month July. Operating rates for refineries are solid. However, propylene inventories are close to 5 year lows, cited by the Energy Information
Agency (EIA). This will be important to keep an eye on moving forward. All propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units that were down in early-mid July are up and running now. Once Enterprise’s PDH unit is finally started up and operational, which is expected in early September, more PGP supply should be available. The current premium from RGP to polymer grade propylene (PGP) is $0.13 per pound.


Domestic acetone supply looks to be in balance at this time. All domestic phenol/acetone units are running at reasonable rates now. The situation for a Midwest phenol/acetone producer integrated downstream to polycarbonate has been resolved. The domestic methyl methacrylate (MMA) markets are running well. Some MMA turnarounds are anticipated in October. The coatings/adhesives and automotive markets are strong and running at full capacity. The spot arbitrage from Asia or Europe to the USA is currently closed. This will leave USA phenol/acetone producers with the bulk of the
responsibility to service all sectors of the consumer and distributor acetone accounts in the USA.


Domestic truck and rail buyers are experiencing no heartbeat. Our Distribution Buyer prediction
showed in the latest report. The mid-June range came in at $0.465-0.49 per pound; the July 1st range came in at $0.445-0.49 per pound; the mid-July range came in at $0.43-0.48 per pound; and the latest report held steady at the mid-July level. We see the Distribution Buyer flat moving into mid-August.


Acetone imports into the USA surged in May (acetone trade data lags roughly 2 months). In July’s writing, the USA was down approximately 5 million pounds from January-April
2017 vs. January-April 2016. The USA brought in a lot of acetone in May this year. The 2017 January-May acetone import volume is now approximately 10.5 million pounds
more than the 2016 January-May acetone import volume. The USA export volume has narrowed slightly since the last report. The USA has now shipped out approximately 11
million more pounds in 2017 YTD (January to May) vs. 2016 (January to May). The author of this monthly update predicted July’s settlement between $0.39-0.41 per
pound. We caught the range. We predict August’s settlement to remain flat. Our range will be from $0.395-0.415 per pound. Non-volatility, at least for now, is here to stay. Things could be different in a few weeks time though.


I don’t know about y’all but I am ready for some football.

 

ISSUE: AUGUST 2017

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