NewsFlashEuro March phenol down Euro23/tonne

06 March 2006 10:32  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--European phenol contract prices for March fell by Euro23/tonne from February on the back of a drop in the benzene contract price, buyers and sellers said late on Friday.

Phenol contract prices for March were assessed by global market intelligence and price discovery service ICIS pricing at Euro1,076-1,116/tonne free delivered (FD) Northwest Europe (NWE).

Market players had been expecting prices to roll over or to increase slightly. However, a Euro23/tonne drop in the March benzene contract price on Tuesday (28 February) to Euro652/tonne free on board (FOB) NWE led to the fall in phenol prices.

Phenol suppliers said they would push to limit any decreases on freely negotiated business. But consumers said they had paid full increases in previous months when benzene costs had risen and were keen to secure at least the Euro23/tonne drop.

Both buyers and sellers said they would welcome a more stable March price, as benzene prices have fluctuated wildly over the past few months, plummeting in November and December and shooting up in January and February.

Suppliers said operating rates were generally high in line with expectations for demand. Weakness in the acetone and key methyl methacrylate (MMA) derivative sector had not affected this.

Spot phenol prices last Friday were Euro863-963/tonne FD NWE, down Euro23/tonne from the previous week. Buyers said prices would have to be brought further down to attract interest.

By: Edward Cox
+44 20 8652 3214

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