15 May 2009 05:39 [Source: ICIS news]
SEOUL (ICIS news)--Ongoing and upcoming turnarounds at major phenol-acetone plants across Asia may help support spot phenol prices, producers said on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) in Seoul.
South Korea’s Kumho P&B Chemicals is currently on a two-week turnaround until 22 May.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical plans to take its plant offline in late May until end June.
Gaoqiao Petrochemical, a unit of Chinese energy major Sinopec, also plans to shut its unit in Caojing, Shanghai, in the second half of May for a 35-day turnaround.
Therefore, despite weak buying sentiment in the key China market, most Asian producers were reluctant to cut prices, citing tight supply resulting from ongoing and upcoming turnarounds.
“We expect limited price downside for phenol in May,” said a northeast Asian producer.
Nevertheless, soft Chinese domestic prices coupled with lacklustre downstream demand kept buying interest subdued.
“Demand is very slow and our tanks are full. We might not be in a position to buy phenol in the near term,” said a Chinese importer.
The two-day conference runs from May 14-15.
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