09 July 2001 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Phenol prices in Northeast Asia rebounded by US$20/tonne as cutbacks in production by some producers appeared to have tightened markets. A drop in Chinese inventories brought buyers back to the market last week. Business for 2500 tonne was transacted at US$510/tonne cif China with 90 days credit. A trader was attempting to secure US$520/tonne cif China with 90 days credit from a Chinese buyer but the bid was US$10/tonne lower.
And the recent fall in benzene prices in Asia and the US has not dampened producers' determination to raise prices to US$520-530/tonne cif China. Demand is strong in China and we expect consumption to grow by 8-10% to reach 360 000 tonne this year, said one producer.
Mitsui Chemicals has decided to cut output by 20 000 tonne in Q3. Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp was reportedly running its 200 000 tonne/year plant at 70%. Taiwan Prosperity Chemical has cut production by 10% to 90%. And Kumho P&B was set to shut its 30 000 tonne/year plant for 30 days.
Trial runs at Mitsui Phenol's new 200 000 tonne/year plant in Singapore have been successful and commercial production will start in August. The company recently sold its first cargo to a Southeast Asian customer.
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