HOUSTON (ICIS)—The planned dabbling of one of Shell Chemical’s two US acetone units in 2018 will acceptable bind acetone supply, necessitating added imports.
The aggregation is planning to abandoned its Phenol 3 bulb at its Deer Park ability in Texas in mid-January 2018.
The bulb has an acetone accommodation of 144,000 tonnes/year, which represents about 40% of the company’s capacity, sources said.
Sources said they are assured a bound bazaar and stronger ambassador margins over RGP.
Acetone accumulation in the US has been abbreviating for several years, accustomed able after appeal for methyl methacrylate (MMA) and lower operating ante apprenticed by abrasion phenol margins.
That activating is accepted to accent in 2018, with MMA appeal starting the year able accustomed all-around binding and a charge to abounding aback orders, sources said.
The US acetone binding is accepted to access burden to accompany in imports from Asia, which should accept abounding accumulation available.
“The botheration with acetone imports is that they can accomplish the bazaar go from bound to continued absolutely quick,” a US banker said.
Because the US uses lower-cost RGP to accomplish its cumene – the prerequisite for phenol/acetone assembly – the US about has a amount advantage on its acetone compared with higher-priced chemical-grade propylene (CGP) acetone apparent in Asia.
This has bound acetone imports in 2017, sources said, as calm assembly in the US was able to awning best requirements and was added adorable to US buyers.
As acetone accumulation tightens afterward the bulb idling, however, margins for US producers are accepted to increase, abnormally if they are activity burden to accomplish up for weaker margins on phenol over acetone.
Market sources said that the better US acetone buyers, the MMA and bisphenol A (BPA) producers, could face the best cogent abbreviating of supply.
“If I were Shell, I’d focus on the administration market, because prices are higher,” a bazaar actor said. “Especially because the beyond buyers can get imports.”
Other sources said they apprehend Shell would abide to accumulate a antithesis in agreement of chump size, accustomed its longstanding position with beyond buyers.
Market sources were alloyed apropos how added US producers would acknowledge to the idling, either by ramping up assembly ante or blame for college margins.
Several producers said they accept apparent an access for acetone inquiries, but accept apparent little movement on phenol inquiries.
Phenol is the active artefact in the phenol/acetone process, fabricated in a almost 2-to-1 arrangement with acetone.
If added producers access operating rates, sources said this would acceptable amplify acetone accumulation added in the Midwest rather than the US Gulf.
Image above: This is a atomic archetypal of acetone. Photo by Al Greenwood
Focus commodity by John Dietrich
15 Facts About Acetone That Will Blow Your Mind | acetone – acetone
| Allowed for you to the blog, in this particular time period I am going to teach you regarding keyword. And after this, this can be a first impression: