ACETONE: US acetone prices were up slightly on a cost push from stronger feedstock propylene. Prices saw support from stronger refinery grade propylene, which rose 1.25 cents on the week to close at 24.25 cents/lb. Sources said that product remained widely available this week with pricing last heard in the low-30s cents/lb range. Break-even costs were estimated at just under 19.50 cents/lb. In Asia, acetone prices fell this week, shedding $30 with the CFR China marker closing Thursday at $350/mt.
PHENOL: US phenol prices appeared poised to move higher in May amid tight supplies and rising feedstock costs. Sources pointed to an 8-10 cents spread between May spot benzene pricing and the April contract settlement as a factor that could push the May benzene contract higher. While benzene was expected to rise, adders to the benzene contract were unchanged this week with export adders heard last at 18-20 cents while adders for domestic material were at 15-17 cents/lb. Fundamentals were little changed this week amid reports of healthy demand and snug supply. Asian phenol prices were down $10 on the week at $1,000/mt CFR China.
IPA: Isopropyl alcohol was assessed stable on the week at $1,213/mt FOB USG and $1,257/mt DER. Upstream refinery-grade propylene pricing continued to tick higher over the past week, climbing 1.25 cent on the week to end Thursday at 24.25 cents/lb. Despite recent letters saying producers have announced 5-cent price increases on IPA, sources continued to talk the spot market around current levels. A source last said the domestic market was near the mid-50 cents/lb range, with another seeing prices slightly lower. S&P Global kept IPA assessments flat, taking into account the last spot price indications as well as the previously-announced price increases from producers.
ETAC: Export and domestic ethyl acetate pricing fell $11 on the week to $934/mt FOB USG and $978/mt DER amid weaker upstream pricing. Ethanol, acetic acid and ethylene values have all ticked lower in recent weeks, weighing on the downstream market. Liquidity remained thin, however, and logistical issues along the Houston Ship Channel continued to hamper all some movements.
BUTAC: Butyl acetate pricing also was stable on the week at $1,101/mt FOB USG and $1,145/mt DER amid stability upstream. The S&P Global N-butanol assessment continued to hover unchanged. Despite weaker acetic acid pricing over the past week, butyl acetate values drifted amid thin trading interest. INDUSTRIAL
ETHANOL: US industrial ethanol pricing was assessed unchanged on the week at 270 cents/gal FOB DSP for 190-proof and 295 cents/gal FOB DSP 200-proof. Both assessments were in line with notional talk from a market participant and followed relative stability in the fuel-grade ethanol market. Upstream corn futures weakened over the past week, but industrial ethanol hovered at the same values as the previous week.